We Farm

Green Valley Milan / Italy / 2016

9
9 Love 1,105 Visits Published

It seems clear that the practice of urban planning based on one-use space segregation has turned obsolete in 21st Century urban planning. Therefore, contemporary practises like the urbanization of the farming landscape or the integration of farming systems in the city core are simultaneously crescendo. This dual trend evokes a city where both historical separated environments become a whole and complex ecology, where synergies between them are meant to be much more productive and clean.


The emergency of the Sustainable Paradigm and the end of Digital Revolution (dated by Nicholas Negroponte in 1998) have caused the rising of news food production systems non-based on seasonal agriculture. Traditional agriculture is gradually substituted by hybrid farming where technology anticipates that ideal metabolic situation for the best possible growing. This urban farming concentration contributes to the reconstruction of the ecosystem balance through the reduction of cultivated land. Therefore, there is a reduction of the CO2 emissions by eliminating the use of pollutants machineries such as tractors and vehicles for the transport of goods for long distances. But there is also a tendency on many of this urban farm design that exclusively focus on technology, as if it was a short of hardware to be plugged in a computer motherboard. We prefer to understand this question within a wider scope. We think it could be addressed as a landscape design matter. We farm.


The proposal articulates this ecological switch from a clearly pedagogical approach. The landscape of the new artificial ecology is offered to visitors in a way they can compare and understand what the fundamentals of this ecosystem are.We farm is mainly a pedagogical framework about the transformation of traditional agriculture into a technological landscape where vertical farming is the global archetype. The physical layout of this public space is 100% reversible and removable and it is conceived for leisure time of different visitor profiles. We farm Public Square is an open area designed in Milano landscape code; visitors can smell, touch, listen to and look at the traditional environment of this northern part of Italy. This public area, close to Cardo, becomes a green foyer that integrates traditional orchards cultivation and other ludic program like pic-nic site, workshops area or botanic garden. Visitors can enjoy a total agriculture experience by learning the whole farm cycle thought under the cradle to cradle protocol and surrounded by the atmosphere of Lombardy. They can also taste in the commercial space organic farming and sustainably caught fish, bastion of Km 0 Slow Food.


Nearby We farm Public Square the visitor will find a building which is mean to accommodate a horizontal avant-garde farm, whose architecture becomes infrastructure but also a theatrical landscape background. This service program is placed all along the northeast limit of the site, where a glassed multi-storey structure of hydroponic and aquaponic vertical farm shapes a slope façade. Watering cycles - more than 90% efficiently on water consumption-, plant nutrients and pH are regulated by Raspberry Pi & Arduino microcontrollers. The proposal combines maximum efficiency with optimal comfort, sustainable solutions and energy retrofitting. The southeast façade is designed as a vertical garden, with high thermal mass properties and insulation panels made with mill waste, low grade, and recycled cotton treated with a non-toxic fire retardant.


Linked to this building, We farm residence is announced as a community space organized in four modules for six researchers/students per unit. Residential program is separated of public circuit to keep researchers and students on an appropriate working atmosphere. This typology reminds central Megaron configuration with a communal space surrounded by three dormitories. The module, which is elevated by pilotis to reduce the building footprint on groundfloor, incorporates several ecologic devices: bees station - the availability of these pollinators affects crop yield-; renewal energy pack; domestic water tank; sedum green roof; experimental orchards; irrigate rainwater retention tank.


Architecture has a connection to Nature. We farm buildings works according to bioclimatic principles, but also assembles architectonics synergies between architecture and farming. A good example of this is the perimeter gallery –where students have each own experimental orchard- that surround the residence rooms, a regulator to help achieve optimal thermal comfort inside. The energy performance of the buildings, which present an overall positive energy balance with renewable energy (thermal exchange with the canal water), local industries meet the thermal requirements of ‘Low Consumption Building’ and the thermal regulations 2016. Therefore, the residential module implements water use reduction: rainwater retention systems; drought- tolerant plantings in the experimental orchard; low water usage showerheads and toilets.


This is a proposal that combines the interest of visitors, researchers/scientist and Milano citizens. All of them will find a place with a piece of the city of tomorrow where the dreams comes truth, at least our dreams. We farm.

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    It seems clear that the practice of urban planning based on one-use space segregation has turned obsolete in 21st Century urban planning. Therefore, contemporary practises like the urbanization of the farming landscape or the integration of farming systems in the city core are simultaneously crescendo. This dual trend evokes a city where both historical separated environments become a whole and complex ecology, where synergies between them are meant to be much more productive and clean. The...

    Project details
    • Year 2016
    • Status Competition works
    • Type Parks, Public Gardens / Public Squares / Urban Furniture / Research Centres/Labs / Student Halls of residence / Modular/Prefabricated housing / Markets
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    Lovers 9 users