The Floating Farm Dairy is essentially a compact triple-stacked landscape which houses 40 dairy cows. The Farm floats in the harbor of the M4H development zone in Rotterdam, an area which aims to stimulate and facilitate innovative and experimental activities. The design is, in essence, an agricultural building based on nautical principles.
Organisation, structural principles and use of materials are used to enhance the buoyancy and stability. The result is a stacked organisation that places all heavy structural- and technical components in the submerged part of the building. All significant and transparent functions are situated on in a lightweight structure on top.
The result is a 3-layered façade ranging from concrete to translucent polycarbonate to entirely open. Three connected concrete pontoons house the production of fruits (ingredients for yogurt), rain- and wastewater recycling and additional installations. On the upper factory floor combines milk and yogurt processing, feeding system, manure handling and retail.
The covered cow garden is supported by a manure cleaning robot and a milking robot along with various elements regarding animal welfare. The two galleries around the cow garden – vertically connected via two steel bridges – string together various evocative spaces to make an educational route. Along this route visitors gain insight on all activities in the Farm without disturbing the business process.