Vertical farm by Rogers Stirk Harbour wins Sustainability Award

#Benefits of green #Future green city #Vertical trees

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is one of the great modern design firms of the world, doing mostly serious work. They have also designed a vertical farm, which recently won the sustainability prize at the Architectural Review MIPIM Future Projects Awards.

It has a market and a restaurant on the ground floor, underneath the tanks full of fish. Above that are the hydroponic gardens and above the hydroponics, they save weight by going with aeroponics. Keep going up and you get a vertical axis wind turbine.

The architects worry that there will be 3 billion more people to feed by 2050 and “If we continue to use traditional farming practises, it is believed that an area of land larger than Brazil will be needed to feed these additional people.” But strawberries and spinach are not going to solve that problem. In fact, a lot of people wonder if the concept of the vertical farm makes any sense at all. But they are fun to think about and to look at.

A bigger question, beyond the viability of a vertical farm, is that the Future Projects Awards are “a celebration of architectural excellence in un-built or forthcoming projects.” Is a thought exercise in vertical farming really the best unbuilt sustainable project on the boards? If so, sustainable design is in worse trouble than I thought.