With cities increasingly squeezed for space, the future of urban gardening will likely lie with vertical farms. Paris design collective ABF-lab unveiled one such urban farming idea in Agro-main-ville (food-farm-tower), a gigantic ziggurat-like greenhouse proposal for Romainville, Paris. Designed to maximize solar exposure, the food-farm tower eschews artificial lighting and could offer Parisians access to ultra-local healthy food with a minimal carbon footprint.
Designed in collaboration with S2T, Atelier Altern Paysage, and Topager, ABF-lab’s food-farm-tower proposal placed second in a national competition hosted by OPH Romainville. The 2,000-square-meter design has an estimated cost of 3.4 million Euros. The architects envision the proposal as a pilot project that could help popularize urban agriculture, raise awareness on quality food, and help improve attitudes towards environmental and social responsibility.
The food-farm-tower is based on two main objectives: to maximize productivity and diversity of the crops by optimizing solar exposure, and provide flexibility so that the system can be integrated into a mixed-use building. The closed-loop ecosystem collects rainwater for irrigation, harnesses solar energy with photovoltaics, produces crops in each of the terraced floors, and incorporates composting on-site to take care of waste and create healthy soils.
“We are convinced that such a project contributes to improving the living environment, conveyed by the production of ultra-local food, healthy and quality, reducing costs, CO2 emissions and energy requirements fossil,” write the architects, “We also believe that this type of project will pave the way for a new way of conceiving the built environment, for it is at the urban scale that it becomes possible to consider virtuous synergies between the project and the people in placing people at the heart of the process.”
Images via ABF-lab