We are running out of cheap oil . We need to consider urban operations which rethink local social and economic interrelationships, especially in agriculture, to sustain megacities with food supply. A Vertical Farm has the capacity to minimize the use of fossil fuels in agricultural production, to eliminate food miles and decrease the ecological food footprints of megacities. The topic consists in proposing a hybrid of a production entity and a cultural space in the middle of London which guarantees sustainable local economic interdependencies not only – but also creates a new local identity in a time where no more cheap fossil energy is available.
Since the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution value chains enlarged continuously until nowadays they got expanded around the globe. Instead of buying from a local market, today we buy from global brands, where representation and the trust it engenders is relegated to the brand image, created by the service industry. The end of cheap oil for architecture carries the possibility to move away from the representation of abstract, non-spatial processes and identities back to the presentation of actual, local relationships.
In future especially the primary sector of economy will struggle when prices for petrochemical based products like herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers and costs to support long transportation ways will explode.
The project consists in developing a building which is able to feed 100.000 people, namely 1 % of Londoners by the year 2050. The already existing idea of the Vertical Farm will be enlarged by interweaving the production entity with public space, interlinked with the urban area. A representative architectonical approach where production, distribution, consumption, scientific developement, guided by cultural entities not only sensitises for the upcoming difficulties of food supply for megacities, but also creates local social and economic interdependencies.
Based on the calculations by students of the Columbia University guided by Dickson Despommier, Professor for Microbiology and Public Health, figures and datas will be visualized in area- and volumetric diagrams.
In addition to the Vertical Farm production entity linear programmatic enlargements have to be defined and integrated into the space program. Local social and economic interdependency and the interweaved public space with the city is superimposed to the arrangement of the different program entities and the developement of choreography of the vertical public space through the building.
These informations will be translated into a mass model and serve as basis for the design process in which program entities will be arranged and rearranged due the design developement until the program and the public space gets strong enough to inform and deform the solid.
The site has to be found in the very center of the city, preferably on the riverside in a high density and representative surrounding to effectively position and interlink the program cluster of the Vertical Farm with the city.