Techno Farm Park: The Future of Farming

Gbadebo Giwa, Mary Krajekian
American University of Sharjah, College of Architecture, art and Design, Sharjah
Spojené arabské emiráty

Idea projektu

The United Nations projects that the global population will increase from 7.3 billion in 2015 to 9.7 billion in 2050. This growth will be concentrated in the world’s poorest countries, where standards of living are set to rise rapidly, increasing demand for resource-intensive meat and dairy products. Together, these trends are heightening fears that the world’s cupboards may run bare in the coming decades. This scenario leads to the nearly ubiquitous assertion that we must double world food production by 2050, which is widely repeated by agribusinesses and scholars alike. This claim is often coupled with calls to reduce impacts on the environment even as food production ramps up. The common prescription is for a sustainable intensification of agriculture that both increases yields and reduces the harmful side effects of tilling and fertilizing billions of acres of land. With this in mind this project tackles with the creation of an urban farm, designed to produce food for the city of Barcelona and the areas surrounding it. This farm will use hydroponics, aquaponics, fungiculture and other food producing systems to design a vertical farm in the center of Poble Nou. The proposed facility will include: Food production elements, restaurants, space for cooking and urban farming classes, housing, and a market/ supermarket.

Popis projektu

Location: Poble Nou, Barcelona

Taking into consideration the site’s unique location, history, existing conditions, and traditions, as well as the global population increase and rise in food demand, the project proposes a techno-farm park which incorporates of marketing and purchasing services, generation and recovery systems, research and education amenities and lastly, food production facilities (hydroponics/aquaponic) that operates as the integral component of all these programs exponentially increasing their output and production levels through the introduction of innovative tools and technologies within the different fields.

Some key features evident across the project include regular and inverted pitched roofs, sunken plazas, pop-out doors and windows, strips of landscape treatment, etc. all influenced by the site and behave as a visual link to the existing setting. These features together with the diverse programs of the techno-farm park aim to create a self-sufficient yet inter-dependent entity that provide for the people of Barcelona.

Lastly, due to the immense graffiti and art found in Poble Nou, Barcelona, the project is presented in an artsy comic book style with the purpose of integrating and illustrating the human perception of the site into an architectural presentation.

Technické informace

On a technical level, this project utilizes various methods of food production, two of which are...

Hydroponics – Growing Plants Without Soil

Hydroponics is a predominant system of growing that is used in vertical farming, and it is slowly but steadily, gaining importance. It involves around the growth of plants in solutions of nutrients that are essentially free of soil. In this vertical farming innovation, the roots of the plants are submerged in a solution of nutrients. The green bar that stretches the length of the site is primary in terms of function; it houses hydroponics and also primary on architectural level with its placement on site and its programmatic significance. The hydroponics bar serves as the visual as well circulation and functional link to all secondary programs. This relationship is frequently circulated and monitored to ensure that there is the maintenance of the correct chemical composition in the nutrient solution, on a functional level and on a recreational level, visitors are able to seamlessly access every program on site without interrupting work flow.

Aquaponics – An Ecosystem that Promotes Plants and Fish Farming Together

An Aquaponics System is much like the Hydroponics System but is only slightly better. It aims to combine the fish and plants in the same ecosystem. In this system, fish grow in a controlled environment (ponds) and produce a nutrient-rich waste that further acts as a food source for the plants grown in vertical farms. The plants, doing their part, purify and filter the wastewater that gets recycled directly to the fishponds. Aquaponics is used at a smaller scale than most vertical farming innovations. However, it is still used by many commercial vertical farms that wish to produce just a few fast-growing crops instead of including the component of aquaponics. Hence, why we have integrated it with the sites vegetation; with the strategic displacement of the ponds across the site we are able to create places for contemplation, relaxation, and meditation whilst also filtering and purifying waste water produced by the pods around the site. As a result, the production and economics issues are simplified, and it also maximizes efficiency. That said, this closed-cycle system might become more popular with the popularity of new standardized aquaponic systems.


Gbadebo Giwa
Mary Krajekian

Instructor: Camilo Cerro

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