Farmland is shrinking across the world at an alarming rate, sparking fears of a global food crisis. In a bid to increase food security, a multidisciplinary team of architects and botanists developed the Jellyfish Barge, a floating modular greenhouse that produces food hydroponically with a minimal environmental footprint. Constructed with wood and recycled materials, the lightweight greenhouse relies primarily on solar energy to bring an affordable and easy-to-build solution to communities vulnerable to water and food scarcity.
Designed by Studiomobile architects Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto, the Jellyfish Barge is an octagonal greenhouse set atop a 750-square-foot wooden base that floats atop 96 recycled plastic drums. The simple and low-cost design was created with adaptability in mind so that it can be applied to a variety of environments for long-term use. The compact and modular greenhouse can produce enough food to support two families, and can also be easily expanded with additional modules to support a larger community.
The crops are grown hydroponically and the fresh water is provided by seven solar stills designed by environmental scientist Paolo Franceschetti. The solar stills use fans and pumps powered by solar energy to suck in and purify water; the seven stills can produce up to 150 liters a day of clean, fresh water from saltwater or even polluted waters. The Jellyfish Barge uses a mixture of distilled water and 15% seawater to water the crops. The hydroponic system can be remotely automated and controlled.
Images © Matteo de Mayda