Jun Yi Loh
Architecture & High Performance Technology
How can we encompass Vertical farming and hyperdensity?
To accommodate a growing urban population, we need greater land and resources for agriculture. But, traditional agricultural practices can contribute to environmental degradation through a loss of biodiversity from land clearance, the use of pesticides, and the significant carbon footprint of transporting food from rural to urban areas. One solution to overcome this is the idea of vertical farming, where food is grown in high-rise factories within the city, limiting the need for land and transportation. However, many vertical farm proposals are little more than growing machines, designed to achieve the maximum economic yield, with little in terms of social benefits to the neighbourhood. This project aims to overcome these challenges by proposing a hybrid vertical farm, market and residential community in Pyrmont, Sydney. Rather than considering the vertical farm as a ‘machine’, the design presents opportunities for urban farming, growing and cooking to be a key driver for social sustainability and community, challenging the sterile high-rise environments of the past.
Urbanistically, the design presents a new vision for Sydney’s fish market. A new open-air waterfront market is masterplanned, influenced by the tightknit street patterns of medieval market towns. A series of towers rise from the market providing high-density living intertwined with growing and communal eating spaces. The form is broken down into vertical villages, with each having access to hydroponic façade-integrated growing spaces, shared kitchens and group dining spaces. The celebration of growing and greenery is designed to also provide psychological and physiological benefits for the occupants & local community based on the ideas of biophilia.
Environmentally, a mesh façade provides a degree of protection from the wind, but allows for the natural ventilation of internal spaces. Each village accommodates its own closed-loop water filtration system, while waste from the plant cuttings is harvested to a fuel biogas anaerobic digestion plant, providing an energy supply for the district.