Fall has officially started, which means that the farmer's market near our New York City office is bursting with apples, squashes, bitter greens, brussels sprouts .... can you tell we're ravenous? Which is OK—after all, architecture plays a big part in the world of the gourmand, with restaurants uniquely designed to enhance the dining experience. But architecture's ties to the food industry go much deeper, and designers are beginning to revolutionize the way we regard (and manage) food production.
As cities continue to grow—with more than half the world residents now living in urban areas—architects, city planners, and businesses are finding new and innovative ways to provide for the populace. Vertical farming and urban agriculture offer relief in metropolitan environments, helping to reduce the pressure of public food supply while also changing our traditional approach to food production. The Architecture + Farming Award will recognize the best projects in this category.
This adaptable, aquaponic system proposes to grow not only organic fruits and vegetables, but freshwater fish too, generating nutrient-rich water in an interconnected ecosystem.
As a part of Open House by Droog led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Freecell designed a suburban farm that can grow hundreds of pounds of produce which can then be sold to the local community.
Kono Designs has morphed Pasona's nine-story, 215,000-square-foot corporate office into an omnivore's delight, with a double-skin green facade, offices, an auditorium, cafeterias, a rooftop garden, and urban farming facilities integrated within the building. (The main lobby has a rice paddy—and a broccoli field!) Public seminars, lectures, and internships hope to boost Japan's dwindling farming industry and equip a new generation of growers with the business acumen and hands-on experience to start their own traditional or urban farms.
Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market (2013 A+ Jury Winner)
Designed by Architecture for Humanity Chicago
This (literal!) meals-on-wheels services provides fresh fruits and veggies to food deserts on the south and west sides of Chicago. Utilizing partnerships with local stakeholders, schools, churches, community organizations, Fresh Moves also works to empower the people it serves, offering nutrition information and health education to these areas.
The Fifth Street Farm Project is a 3,000-square-foot green roof project on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Situated atop the Robert Simon School Complex, the green roof gave teachers the opportunity to integrate farming and plant life into the students' curriculum.
Oracle, ArizonaDesigned by Biosphere Design Corporation; Allen, Augustine, Hawes, and Dempster
The 40-acre complex, built between 1987 and 1991, was originally designed to serve as a closed ecological system. It featured an agricultural area and human living/working space; the goal was to study the interactions between humans, farming, and technology within this "natural" environment. Today, the site is owned by the University of Arizona. Learn more.