Architecture firm SPARK unveiled Homefarm, a visionary design that tackles food security and elder care challenges in one fell swoop. Presented at the World Architecture Festival, the conceptual proposal combines urban retirement housing with vertical urban farming into a live-farm typology that’s beautiful, productive, and empowering for its residents. In addition to its aquaponic vertical farming system, the eco-conscious Homefarm also includes a roof garden, fruits and vegetable marketplace, and biomass power plant.
By 2030, one-fifth of Singapore’s population is expected to be over 65 years old. While most nursing homes and retirement communities can feel sterile, SPARK envisions a lively alternative focused on community and urban farming. The curvilinear building wraps around a central courtyard and comprises staggered terraces and a leafy facade outfitted with an aquaponic vertical farming system. The system is irrigated with collected rainwater and treated gray water, while fish waste provides the nutrients. Agricultural waste is fed into an onsite biomass power plant.
The building includes a variety of housing types, from one-bedroom studios to four-bedroom apartments to accommodate different needs and the cultural norm of multi-generational housing. All units will have views of the central courtyard and marketplace. Residents would have the option to take up farming as part-time employment and sell their fruits and vegetables for income that could cover expenses such as healthcare bills and community projects.
“The commercial farming activity supports its residents in a socially and environmental sustainable environment, helping the older generation retain an active community involvement that mitigates against dementia and promotes self-esteem,” Spark director Stephen Pimbley told Dezeen. The vertical farm also addresses food security in a country where 90 percent of food is imported. Spark hopes to build the first Homefarm in Kuala Lumpur by 2018, with plans to build additional units in Singapore and other Asian cities.
Images via SPARK