London-based Rogers Strik Harbour + Partners has unveiled a concept for a vertical farm, providing an alternative to traditional farming.
Framed in bamboo, the Skyfarm is a multi-storey structure that integrates many forms of farming including traditional planting and aquaponics as well as being able to produce its own energy.
“Skyfarm proposes an alternative to the typical land-intensive farming systems,” explained the firm.
“These towers support several layers of agricultural cultivation and an aquaponics system that enables the growth of crops and fish together in a re-circulating system,” the architects added.
The ground level of the tower will be occupied by market and restaurant area, while farming areas are set to be located above ground. The upper levels are also planned to include water tanks and roof-mounted wind turbines.
In addition to agriculture and aquaponics, the vertical farm is also proposed to support aeroponic farming, where plants are grown without soil in a misty mineral-rich environment.
The concept first started in 2014 in response to Milan’s Expo 2015 theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, which posed the question of how countries will produce enough food for the world’s growing population.
“It is said that by the year 2050 nearly 80 per cent of the earth’s population will reside in urban centres,” the architects explained.
“Over the same period of time, the earth’s population is expected to grow by an additional three billion people,” added the firm. “If we continue to use traditional farming practises, it is believed that an area of land larger than Brazil will be needed to feed these additional people.”
The firm stated that the farms’s lightweight bamboo frame could be scaled up or down, depending on the situation.
“A 10-metre version could be constructed in a school, or an 80-metre farm built in a larger urban area,” said the firm.
“Its geometry can also be adapted depending on the earth’s latitude and the amount of sunlight available. In cooler climates, a double-skinned enclosure and heating could be added to create optimum growing conditions.”
Also in 2014, design firm Forward Thinking Architecture had put together plans for floating farms which would combat the increasing global problems of food shortages, lack of land, and a rapidly growing population.
The architects said the project is aimed at regions where food supplies are uncertain and the population is growing – such as the Middle East.