preoccupied with the issue of air pollution, amsterdam-based designer angelo renna proposes to build an artificial mountain to make the environment cleaner. made of soil excavated from the construction site of the railway tunnel connecting turin to lyon, the 90-meters-high ‘sponge mountain’ will be able to absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere.

sponge mountain in turin absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, by angelo renna designboom
at the top, a public observation square in placed



renna’s mountain is 90 meters high with a surface of 11 hectares, capturing CO2 from the atmosphere thanks to its engineered soil — a mixture of sand and concrete. the sponge mountain is not only a green landmark for the city of turin but also a place for leisure where people can go for a walk, run or just play with their dogs.

sponge mountain in turin absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, by angelo renna designboom
the sponge mountain is a green landmark and a place for leisure



the multidisciplinary success project and earlier researches showed that most of the calcium carbonate is stored in the top layer (10-15 centimeters), while previously used soil has the capacity to sequester CO2 in an inorganic form at a rate of 85 tons per hectare per year (for a period of 5 years). so, given that one hectare of rainforest is able to absorb 5 tons per hectare per year, it becomes a quite important and achievable technology.

sponge mountain in turin absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, by angelo renna designboom
the mole antonelliana (167,5 m) and the mountain (90 m)


sponge mountain in turin absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, by angelo renna designboom
axonometric view


concept image


the sponge mountain is able to absorb more than a forest


sponge mountain in turin absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, by angelo renna designboom
during the construction of the railway TAV, 6 tons of soil will be excavated




designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

  • I don’t understand. Is there something special about the top soil they plan to use that gives it the sequestering characteristics? Or does all/most soil below that 10-15 centimeter threshold have the same characteristics?

    Philip Patke says:

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