Project Description

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The design scenario focuses the need for Singapore to become more self-sufficient in terms food production, since it imports over 90% of its food requirement. Hence, as a long term strategy to ensure food resilience for Singapore’s growing population, a prototypical urban farm typology catering to a population of 10,000 people is proposed. The idea would be to have a decentralised network of such urban farms across various parts of Singapore. It is also learnt that, with a small change in the eating habits and diet patterns of its inhabitants, Singapore can produce as much as 75% of its per capita consumption, locally.

As a response to the emerging movement toward more self-sufficient communities and resilience to centralised system of food supply, this project focuses on the development of a prototype urban farm typology that is perceived as a decentralised essential infrastructure within cities. The idea is to have a multi‐scaled network of food production centres across the island that are managed and served to a localised neighbourhood population. The outcome of the project is conceived to be an ecologically integrated farming paradigm where various systems, both natural and artificial, are integrated so that waste of one system can be used as the input for another.

State-of-the-art farming methods would allow essential food items such as vegetables and fruits, fish and chicken to be grown vertically and simultaneously within the same building. The urban farmers who grow the food were to live within the same complex as well. Also, in order to produce a part of the energy to power the building, it was decided to grow algae (bio-fuel) on photo-bio-reactor pipes to be fixed to the parts of the façade receiving the most solar radiation. The market, seed storage, waste recycling centre and many other allied spatial systems were to be located within the complex.

Each of these spatial functions has individual daylight requirements and adjacency rules that must be satisfied for its optimum functioning. For example, the vegetable growth chamber must have adequate daylight, whereas the chicken growth chamber requires controlled daylight. The latter should preferably be far away from the farmers’ housing but closer to the markets. The fish growth chambers need to be at lower floors for structural reasons but as close to the vegetable growth chambers as possible. Such complexity of spatial and functional interrelationships was achieved through adaptive-iterative explorations in computational design procedures.


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