Arctic Harvester is a huge floating farm that that uses water from melted icebergs to bring local food to Greenland. The freshwater from icebergs would be used by onboard hydroponic greenhouses to grow fruits and vegetables that would be delivered to coastal towns. The project, designed by French architecture students, won first prize at the 2013 Jacques Rougerie Competition. We have to ask ourselves though - in the age of climate change and melting polar caps, is an iceberg-eating farm really the best idea?
The floating hydroponic farm uses melting icebergs as a massive resource for growing fruit and vegetables. The structure is shaped as a traditional village-the circular form encompasses a central bay in which melting icebergs are gathered. The freshwater goes to the hydroponic greenhouses on board to be used to grow foods that can be delivered to towns along the coast of Greenland, which would otherwise have to import fruits and vegetables. The floating structure can accommodate up to 800 people – a community of host workers and farmers that would stay on board for months at a time.
The energy needed for moving would be generated through an osmotic system that generates power from a mixture of saltwater and freshwater while solar panels would provide additional power. Currently, the designers, who are working with are working consultancy firm Polarisk Analytics, are seeking for funding to build small-scale prototypes.
The project treats global warming as inevitable and puts melting polar ice to pragmatic use. Instead of preventing this devastating scenario, Arctic Harvester deals exploits it.