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A tree-like eco system supports local food production

26 July 2016

Aprilli Design Studio created an Urban Skyfarm concept, designed to support local food production and contribute to environmental quality improvement.

Image courtesy of Aprilli Design Studio

The Urban Skyfarm design is inspired by the ecological system of giant trees. The vertical farm project will mainly support the production and distribution of local food but also contribute to improving the environmental quality through air filtration, water and renewable energy production. It is a carefully designed garden hub where people can easily grow local food in an eco-friendly way. By creating more cultivation space through vertical stacking of farming decks, the dense urban development will gain more balance between the urban development and ecology. 

The tree-like design gives it a structural and environmental advantage, forming a light-weight, efficient frame that can house diverse farming activities. The structure has four main components; the root, trunk, branch and leaf. 

By lifting the main food production from the fields into the air, the vegetation gains more exposure toward the sunlight and fresh air while the field space becomes free for buildings or recreational places. The vertical gardens can be lifted higher for more exposure, this leaf portion is mainly where medium based hydroponic fruit trees and larger scale vegetables will be housed. The lower portions are controlled indoors using artificial lighting, suitable for products like basil etc. The outdoor farming deck provides 44,000m2 of space and the indoor farming 28,000m2, along with a 3,200m2 solar PV panel area.

Image courtesy of Aprilli Design Studio

The Urban Skyfarm is a net zero facility which operates only with renewable energy produced from solar and wind energy. The vegetation and plants inside will consistently convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, helping the city below become low carbon. The water processing system involves water collection and filtering, it can even process rain water and distribute it for irrigation or send it back to the local river. 

The root portion has been designed as the central hub, providing a wide, column free controlled space ideal for market places and public activities. The trunk area is a thin vertical space with views toward the city which can be used as community garden spaces. The trunk can be divided into eight individual ‘branches’ that support about 60-70 farming decks, suspended from each branch by structural trusses and tension cables. Each deck is equipped with heating and LED lighting systems to provide optimal environmental conditions. 

The design has been proposed for a site located in downtown Seoul, adjacent to the Cheonggyecheon stream. 

More information can be found here.

Video courtesy of Aprilli Design Studio.

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