Large, flat, homogeneous and unused industrial rooftops offer great possibilities to install urban farms and provide food within the city. Industrial areas building codes normally do not constrain heights, so farming activities are a concrete opportunity to capitalize the unused industrial rooftop spaces. Urban farming has a lot to do with the use of unexpressed potential of the city space. It is a tool to turn them productive. It is a tool – I say – to grow the city. To cultivate it from all the possible aspects as a living environment.
The aquaponic rooftop farm designed for Urban Farmers in Basel consists of a strategic design to make that happen. The farm is precisely conceived as an urban device to grow the city. It is a generic architecture that consist of two pre-fab modules that correspond to the two main feature of the farming program: the greenhouse for the production of fish and vegetables, and the containers for all the other activities, administration, storage, dressing rooms, etc. Both modules can be “dropped” on the rooftop and be organized in different layouts according to the needs, size and other specificity of the site. In other words it is a generic building for a specific need: to engage the possibility to grow food on top of any flat industrial building.
The architecture consists in the organization of the program into the modular layout that these two simple elements can offer. A third element, namely a the fire security staircase, is needed to be attached to the existing building for direct rooftop security evacuation. The Urban Farmers rooftop farm consists of a 400 square meters industrial installation able to grow fish and vegetables thanks to the so called aquaponic technique. A system in which fish nourish the vegetables and the vegetables clean the water for the fish. Fish and vegetables lives in a balanced environment. This project investigate the possibility to stretch this analogy between the farm and the city itself and overcome the historical dichotomy between city and country side.
Client: Urban Farmers AG Basel. Total Area: 400 mq.
Design to Construction Time: 2010 – 2012.
Design Team: Antonio Scarponi, Architect and principal of Conceptual Devices. Stefano Massa, Senior Architect at Conceptual Devices.
Photo Credits: © Monica Tarocco, 2013.
- Fish from the Sky with Vegetables. Globe / Hedron a Rooftop Farm.
- UrbanFarmers Concept Farm Model Presented at TEDx Zurich.
- FARM-X. The First Modular Vertical Farm Concept (Almost) Unveiled.
- Orto Perpetuo. A Year-round Edible Garden Module in Your Apartment. Urban Agriculture Survival Kit, Salone del Mobile, Milano 2014.
- Malthus, a Meal a Day. Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Food and Love the (Population) Bomb.
- Fish and Crops: Design Royale Workshop Results Will be Pesented at Fuori Salone During Milano Design Week.
- Harvesting Station, a Reclaiming Device for the Interstitial Spaces of the City.
- ELIOOO. Grow Your Food. Or How to Go to IKEA® and Build a Device to Grow Salad in Your Apartment.
- Campo Libero (The Innocent House), at the XV Venice Architecture Biennale.
- The Dreaming Wall Featured in ‛Design Like You Give a Damm ’ by Architecture for Humanity.