Within the next year, Dutch firm Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten hope to have a working prototype of a supermarket farm that could produce most of the food items found in any grocery store. Park Supermarket is a new model for urban food production that could grow practically any food customers demand, regardless of the climate. The grand scheme calls for a 4,000-acre park that is divided into production areas for every type of produce, grains, meats and other products. For now they're working on a 74-acre pilot project in the city of Nijmegen in collaboration with a farmer's cooperative and local residents. The high-tech farm will be capable of growing kiwis even in the cool, gray climate of northern Europe.
Back in the day, a polder in the Netherlands was capable of providing all the necessary food for a nearby town. As the nation’s population has grown and diversified it relies less on locally produced food and more on regions known for their warm and sunny climates. The Netherlands isn’t endowed with a warm and sunny growing season, and with the influx of a diverse population from all over the world, the demand for foreign foods has dramatically increased. Park Supermarket is the answer to the dilemma of providing local and diverse foods.
Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten propose taking over a polder landscape and transforming it into the farm of the future, which could serve the Randstand metropolitan region (consisting of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht). Around 4,000 acres of agrarian landscape would be turned into a super farm divided into 2.5-acre plots for small-scale farming and grocery shopping. Even though the traditional polder landscape is often inundated with rising tides, the farm would be built to work around the waters and even take advantage of them.
New climate zones and landscapes would be created based on the type of food produced, such as pandan-en risotto rice on water terraces, tilapia fish in basins, and kiwis and avocados along undulating fruit walls. To be able to produce the atypical foods in a Dutch climate, the Park Supermarket would take advantage of a variety of farming techniques, both old and new. Warmth-accumulating snake walls and more contemporary solutions as insulating water spray ‘roofs’ and geothermal heating would create the necessary climate to grown whatever food was demanded in the urban environment.
Images © Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten