built five hundred feet into the permafrost of a norwegian island located some six hundred miles from the north pole (and twice that from oslo), the svalbard global seed vault is the world’s largest and most secure seed bank.
safe from earthquake and flooding, and designed to last a thousand years, its mission is to serve as a backup for planet’s agriculture in the event of a catastrophe, be it from drought, floods, disease, war (see: syria) and/or the slow moving disaster of climate change.
known as the doomsday vault, it has amassed over 840,000 seed samples since the first deposit, that of rice seeds, was made in 2008 by the late kenyan environmental activist and nobel peace prize winner, wangari maathai.
since then, all countries, save japan and china (the later of which is believed to have already lost 90 percent of its rice varieties) have entrusted the site with their agricultural heritage, and the collection, as of now, covers about half of the world’s known crop diversity.
if I had a crush on a building or piece of architecture it’s the svalbard seed vault for sure