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t. joseph surjan

t. joseph surjan

Chicago, IL, US

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Fisheye rendering_Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil
Fisheye rendering_Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil
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Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil

Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil

An ash I know there stands,
Yggdrasill is its name,
a tall tree, showered
with shining loam.
From there come the dews
that drop in the valleys.
It stands forever green over
Urör's well.

(Poetic Edda, stanza 19) 

Yggdrasil is the World Tree, whose mighty trunk is the spine of the cosmos, acting as the path
between the Nine Worlds/Planets, with roots that dig deep into the underworlds of fire and ice.
The branches of Yggdrasil soar high to the heavens and the great feasting Halls of the Shining
Ones. Sacred Yggdrasil, grow within us on Omne Mountain. 

BOARD 1
Concept:

A special tradition that is shared by many Scandinavians is the planting or the knowing of a unique tree (Yggdrasil, The World Tree) in Swedish called a Vårdträd, and in Norwegian a Tuntre; a sacred tree planted in the center of the yard on a family farm that reflects an intimacy with nature. The caring for the Yggdrasil demonstrates respect for ancestor’s spirits that were/are believed to reside in the tree, and it is a moral reminder of caring for the natural world. In Swedish folklore the Vårdträd is associated with the family's happiness and success. To harm the tree or even break the leaves of it were considered to bring misfortune and illness. There are myths and legends of the Yggdrasil with its guardian spirits or goblins, living in the tree and whose presence was to protect the family’s farm.
The tradition of sacred trees in Scandinavia goes back to the pre-Christian Viking Age. There are many
Scandinavians who are no longer aware of this tradition and in future generations many of the beliefs and the trees themselves may disappear. This project, Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil, is built as a preserve to the World Tree and it’s traditions acting as a living universal symbol of nature’s mythologies for all who visit the site. 

BOARD 2
Design: Program & Preservation

Visitors to the Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil site will experience two inter-connected programs. The two programs are the Vårdträd Cultural Center and the hydrotherapy baths which surround it. A central island acts as an oasis for the Yggdrasil, a giant ash, with a series of treatment pavilions positioned at its perimeter. This World Tree stands over Urör’s well preserving its ecology and representing all the myths associated with it. The hydrotherapy baths & changing rooms surrounding the central island are powered by a geothermal well field that runs hundreds of meters below the surface of the site area. The geothermal well field supplies all the water needed to sustain the Yggdrasil
and provides either cooling or heating of the hydrotherapy baths per the season.
On both sides of the Atlantic, newly emerged insects and pathogens of ash trees give additional meaning to the phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Chalara ash dieback disease has already affected an estimated 90 percent of ash trees in Denmark and Sweden and 80 percent in Poland, where the disease was originally discovered in 1992. In Europe, the ash's prominence in traditional medicine and in Nordic folklore makes its loss seem all the more conspicuous. Ash trees, like the Yggdrasil, brings together different worlds -- the worlds of animals and plants and the worlds of human history and culture. If such unity is to continue to exist, ash trees must remain a part of this world.
The Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil project represents the linkage between the natural and the mythic worlds acting as a model for an educational & recreational environment based on a legend from centuries ago.

 
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Status: Competition Entry
Location: One Mountain, Sweden
My Role: design scientist & writer
Additional Credits: S. Hjelte Fumanelli - project architect & digital modeling

 
Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil (board 1)
Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil (board 1)
Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil (board 2)
Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil (board 2)
Visitors to the Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil site will experience two inter-connected programs; the Vårdträd Cultural Center and the hydrotherapy baths which surround it.
Visitors to the Hello Nature - Hello Yggdrasil site will experience two inter-connected programs; the Vårdträd Cultural Center and the hydrotherapy baths which surround it.
Small pavilions define space and light the site at night.
Small pavilions define space and light the site at night.
Geothermal system, rooted deep under the site.
Geothermal system, rooted deep under the site.
The geothermal well field supplies the site with heated water
The geothermal well field supplies the site with heated water
The caring for the Yggdrasil demonstrates respect for ancestor’s spirits that were/are believed to reside in the tree, and it is a moral reminder of caring for the natural world.
The caring for the Yggdrasil demonstrates respect for ancestor’s spirits that were/are believed to reside in the tree, and it is a moral reminder of caring for the natural world.