Architecture

Urban Skyfarm concept would provide inner city farming space

Aprilli Design Studio has created a concept for an Urban Skyfarm
Aprilli Design Studio has created a concept for an Urban Skyfarm
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Aprilli Design Studio has created a concept for an Urban Skyfarm
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Aprilli Design Studio has created a concept for an Urban Skyfarm
The Urban Skyfarm would provide a means of producing food in cities
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The Urban Skyfarm would provide a means of producing food in cities
In addition to providing a space to grow food, the Urban Skyfarm would generate electricity via a solar array on its roof
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In addition to providing a space to grow food, the Urban Skyfarm would generate electricity via a solar array on its roof
A large base, or root, would provide stability for the structure and spread its weight out
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A large base, or root, would provide stability for the structure and spread its weight out
A trunk section would raise the outdoor farming areas up to receive more fresh air and sunlight, as well as contain indoor farming areas
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A trunk section would raise the outdoor farming areas up to receive more fresh air and sunlight, as well as contain indoor farming areas
The trunk section would split into eight vertical branches, each supporting 60-70 farming decks
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The trunk section would split into eight vertical branches, each supporting 60-70 farming decks
In total, the Skyfarm would provide 144,450 sq m (1,555,000 sq ft) of floor space, with 44,000 sq m (475,000 sq ft) dedicated to outdoor growing and 9,000 sq m 97,000 sq ft) dedicated to indoor growing
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In total, the Skyfarm would provide 144,450 sq m (1,555,000 sq ft) of floor space, with 44,000 sq m (475,000 sq ft) dedicated to outdoor growing and 9,000 sq m 97,000 sq ft) dedicated to indoor growing
The Urban Skyfarm would also contain water treatment area, a food processing area, a farmers' market, viewing decks, public spaces and cafeterias
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The Urban Skyfarm would also contain water treatment area, a food processing area, a farmers' market, viewing decks, public spaces and cafeterias
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Two problems caused by increasing overpopulation in cities are how to use space productively and how to feed everyone. A new concept design suggests a means of addressing both these issues. Aprilli Design Studio's Urban Skyfarm is a tree-like skyscraper that provides space for crop farming.

Aprilli designed the Skyfarm with Seoul, South Korea, in mind, but it could be deployed in any major city. In addition to providing space for growing food, it would help to clean the city's air, generate renewable electricity and provide a place for people to relax.

The primary structure has a large, root area at its base to provide stability and spread the weight of the Skyfarm out across the ground. A trunk section rises up from the root and spreads out into eight vertical branches that are connected together by trusses to provide structural reinforcement..

The trunk section would split into eight vertical branches, each supporting 60-70 farming decks
The trunk section would split into eight vertical branches, each supporting 60-70 farming decks

The branches each support 60-70 farming decks, which can be described as the leaf sections of the tree. The decks are spread out as much as possible to ensure they receive adequate exposure to sunlight. Each deck has heating and LED lighting systems that are used to create "optimal environmental conditions" for farming.

The Skyfarm design uses a hydroponic system for growing crops, instead of using a soil-based approach. The higher, external leaf sections would be used for fruit trees and larger scale vegetables that need more exposure to air and sunlight, while lower, internal growing areas would be available for items that might thrive better indoors, such as herbs.

The Urban Skyfarm would also contain water treatment area, a food processing area, a farmers' market, viewing decks, public spaces and cafeterias
The Urban Skyfarm would also contain water treatment area, a food processing area, a farmers' market, viewing decks, public spaces and cafeterias

In total, the Skyfarm would provide 144,450 sq m (1,555,000 sq ft) of floor space, with 44,000 sq m (475,000 sq ft) dedicated to outdoor growing and 9,000 sq m 97,000 sq ft) dedicated to indoor growing. Spaces at the base of the structure would be available for treating rainwater and greywater collected for use in the growing process, processing food that is produced and hosting a farmers' market.

Viewing decks, public spaces and cafeterias are also incorporated into the design and a 3,200 sq m (35,000 sq ft) solar array on the top of the structure would be used to generate electricity.

The video below shows what the Urban Skyfarm would look like.

Source: Aprilli Design Studio

Aprilli Design Studio- Urban Skyfarm

13 comments
Skipjack
So how do they think this will be operated? I mean you obviously cant drive trucks or tractors on this. So do they imagine a lot of manual labor? Does not sound very effective.
Jared Keller
Skipjack, most crops are able to be picked by machinery. The ones that can't could have some laborers. It wouldn't be any less efficient than manual labor on a standard farm.
Daishi
@Skipjack I imagine people would adopt a space and own it. It's interesting how things have changed. I went to school with a girl (pretty, A student, AP classes etc.) who finished her masters degree, worked for an organic food company for a while, and now works as a farm hand on an organic farm. I would have never pegged her for farmer. Farms are "in" now.
Slowburn
Just what I want vegetables grown in urban pollution.
SilentHightimes
@slowburn Probably healthier than what you eat unless you buy organic.
Onihikage
This is so absurdly inefficient and expensive that there is no way it would ever be a commercial success. The whole point of Vertical Farming is to farm more efficiently - that means you build a giant box (skyscraper) with thousands of racks of hydroponic produce on each floor, with controlled LED lighting and optimized CO2 levels. Use automated trolleys for wheeling around produce to the appropriate areas to keep the majority of human workers busy with harvesting and resetting produce racks. Include a small bee colony on each floor for pollination purposes, and dedicate one corner to a diverse range of small flowering plants which assist in the bees' nutrition. Convert leftover biomass in a gasification plant at the base of the building to create biofuels which power generators to assist with the building's electricity requirements, in addition to at least one small or medium-sized wind turbine on the roof. THAT is how you build a sustainable modern vertical farm. This so-called "Urban Skyfarm" concept is absolute rubbish.
Vincent Bevort
Just think of the weight! Can we really build a construction like this supporting all the soil/planting materials, water, the plants themselves and the machinery to manage/harvest? I don't think those solar panels can deliver enough power to grow all those vegetables on all flours
Skipjack
@Jared: Yes it would be since there is not trucks to carry around hundreds of pounds of harvest. Manual laborers would have to carry them around. It seems incredibly inefficient that way. I also agree with what Onihikage says.
owlbeyou
Onihikage has some very valid points. The fact that it's shaped like a tree is esthetically pleasing but quite impractical and costly. Designing buildings that have south-facing growing sections incorporated within their structure, while providing living, work and leisure spaces would be far more practical and efficient. The concept of making micro communities within the city fabric is nothing new, but this would take it a step further by including food-growing capabilities. A dome or glass structure on the roof for a multi purpose people area for year-round activities and a commercial section at the base would help to make this concept a success.
Satweavers
Practical? Someone got a nice portfolio piece out of this.