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Urban Sequoia Now

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

John Pobojewski
Concept, Design, Animation, Writing, Sound Design

Zach Minnich
Design, 3D

Span created a short 3D animation and motion graphics film about SOM's Urban Sequoia project, a proposal on how to design and construct buildings that absorb carbon. The film premiered at the UN’s Climate Change Conference COP27 in Egypt.

Renowned international architecture firm SOM envisions “forests” of buildings in cities around the world that remove carbon dioxide from the air just like trees do. Span created a previous short film that premiered at the UN’s Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow introducing SOM’s design concept to an audience of international government stakeholders and industry leaders.

The film for UN COP 27 highlights SOM’s research advances for the project, including how the concept has evolved from a “building” into an “approach” for design and construction that offsets 100% of carbon emissions from both construction and operations within five years and absorbs over 300% of equivalent carbon emissions over the life of the building.

Span led the development of the story, 3D animation, architectural diagrams, and motion graphics to communicate this very complex message to a broad international audience of key stakeholders in climate science and action. Additional architectural visualizations were provided by Miysis. The film will be a key feature on SOM’s site and in the firm’s future presentations globally on buildings that absorb carbon throughout the coming year.

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Animation of SOM’s revised approach, building up the structure piece by piece

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Outdoor air is pulled into the center of the building to absorb carbon via direct air capture technology