I think that the most interesting Agritecture solutions truly integrate agriculture growing systems into the building in a way that:
- Makes ecological sense: the efficient use of space, light, and the water cycle of the structure.
- Makes aesthetic sense: is visible to the inhabitants on the inside and outside of the building.
My reasoning for this is that Agritecture should improve the functionality and efficiency of the building and certainly not increase its energy and water use. It must serve as a tool to improve the structure and provide value added. The second point relates to the social impact of Agritecture, if we cannot see the food production and interact with it, than we lose the opportunity to connect with the system and increase our awareness.
Here are some more images of the “Living Tower” by French SOA architects:
These next images show how the office/living space in the building can actually see the hydroponic growing systems that are wrapped around and integrated into the structure. Not a bad corner office!
Now we move away from the Aesthetics of this impressive Agritectural creation and consider the ecological systems designed to support it. The building is designed to reuse water and leverages the internal farm to benefit energy use and production. Here are the details:
The Living Tower, a theoretical 30 floor high rise farming community designed by Paris based SOA architects, would house: 130 apartments on the first 15 floors, 9000 square meters of office space on the remaining 15 floors, a 7000 square meter shopping center, a library and even a nursery in addition to the gardens distributed throughout the building.
Living Tower architects have focused on specific crop productions and believe the following estimates will represent respective crop yields:
63000 kg of tomatoes per year
37 333 feet of salads per year
9 324 kg of strawberries per year
The building design keeps efficiency and alternative power in mind as well: two large windmills rotating on the roof will generate 200-600 KWH of electricity per annum and will assist in pumping recovered rainwater throughout the complex. Photovoltaic panels will cover the outer walls while inside the tower, ventilation shafts draw in underground air keeping temperatures comfortable throughout the year.
Here are some technical images of the Living Tower System:
A quote from SOA architects about the project:
Why should places of manufacture of consumption or food not find their place in the heart of city ?
The concept of the Tour Vivante aim is to associate the agricultural production, dwelling and activities in a single and vertical system. This system would allow to make the city denser meanwhile a greater autonomy could be gained reliance in agricultural plains, reducing the
need of transportation between urban and extra-urban territories. The yet unusual superimposition of these programs finally makes it possible to consider new practical and energetic relations between agricultural culture, tertiary spaces, housing and trade inducing a very strong energy saving.
Source: SOA Architects Paris
“LA TOUR VIVANTE” (The Living Tower) is a truly innovative and beautiful example of Agritecture. I am unable to confirm if construction has already begun on the project or even if it will be realized but there certainly is a lot of information out there about it and the firm seems ready to build with a site for the project already in mind. Check out this video if you want to learn more.
What is your impression of LA TOUR VIVANTE?