Barcelona-based studio Forward Thinking Architecture has envisioned a way to transform the inhospitable Arabian Peninsula into a global agricultural hub by establishing a link between the desert, renewable energy, and water-saving hydroponic agriculture. Their OAXIS project would blanket over 1,447,795 square miles of sandy terrain with a huge modular hydroponic system that would produce solar energy and use an underground transportation system to deliver crops to adjacent cities.
OAXIS is designed to incorporate a prefabricated modular structures with recycled steel. Several passive strategies would control the building’s environment while roof-mounted photovoltaic panels would supply enough energy for the facilities, the artificial LED lighting and the underground conveyor belt system. Excess energy would be fed into the city electric grid.
Recycled water coming from the hydroponic farming technology will be used for irrigation of the exterior vegetation, allowing plants and biodiversity to expand around the facilities. The crops-fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits-would be transported via the underground conveyor belts system.
There are several projects envisioning the use of solar energy and hydroponics in the region, but OAXIS is the first one to combine the two in order to create a self-sufficient prototype that could tackle food shortage, reduce the need for imports and promote renewable energy. It aims to transform the barren desert environment into a thriving crop-growing area that relies on renewables to establish an efficient network across the entire Arabian Peninsula.