Van Bergen Kolpa’s “Park Supermarket” addresses the combined problems of land use, climate change, and food production in the low-lying Netherlands. Utilizing the age-old landscaping technology of polders (reclaimed land bordered by dikes), the architects envision growing everything from cattle to orchards inside of metropolitan Dutch parks. Polders represent the history of food production in the Netherlands, but they are under increasing stress from urbanization and rising water levels. The architects imagine a future where urban parks are used for food production of every variety – with van Bergen Kolpa’s special interest in human interaction with the environment, they made sure to include foods that would satisfy the appetites of the multinational population of the Randstad region.
van Bergen Kolpa demonstrates how different landscapes and temperate zones could be created using soil, canals and greenhouses – enabling the production of tropical fruit like kiwi. In pursuit of sustainability, new and traditional technologies merge to create innovative systems such as heat-retaining walls for fruit production. The “Park Supermarket” would not only re-create the traditional park landscape while enhancing local food production, but would also provide a great learning opportunity.
The “Architecture of Consequence” exhibit, including these projects and many more, is on exhibit through October 21 at the AIA SF.