Natural Systems Competition 1st Prize Winner

Urban Agriculture- Biosynthetic Ecology: Hybridized Farm Bridge as a City Garden

D3 Natural Systems Competition 1st Prize Winner

Author: Lorene Faure & Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui

Introduction – An architectural vision of a sustainable future

Most cities in the world rely on a vulnerable system of food supply; hence they are most likely to feel the effects of any food shortages. In UK, it is estimated that Londoners consumed 6.9 million tones of food per year, of which 81% came from outside the UK. The country’s food supply is almost totally dependent on oil (95% of the food we eat is oil-dependent) and if the oil supply to Britain were suddenly cut off, figures show that it would take just three full days before law and order broke down. (Sources from London Yields: Urban Agriculture. An exhibition held at the Building Centre, London during 9 April – 30 May 2009)

The transformation of cities from consumers of food to generators of agricultural products not only increases food security but also contributes to sustainability, improved health and poverty alleviation.

This has driven an in-depth research based investigation into the proposition of an urban agricultural building hybridized with biological matter, as a semi-living system that informs a biosynthetic ecology that would provide food for Londoners.

The architectural proposal is a technological food production farm built on top of the existing Westminster Bridge in central London. A system of an archifoliage ‘veils’ allows a variable input from the surrounding natural habitat and human influence into a public garden spectacle, while preserving its original function as a road bridge. The veils morphologically adapts to the existing stone bridge and forms a number of floating docks on the Thames River that accommodates the function of food delivery through water vehicles, as well as leisure activities such as canoeing and kayaking.

Fluid dynamics – Documentation and analysis of conceptual process generators for the intrinsic environmental geometries, behaviors, and flows.

The Archifoliage Veil is a system of synthetic flesh that has the ability to become imbued with performative variation derived from multiple scenarios of configuration and positions. The technique of the ‘self-similar multiple’ is used as a means for indexing difference and variability. A catalogue of variations was generated to manage a degree of transpiration, solar and water flow along the veil surfaces to enable a multiplicity of conditions and responses for optimized conditions for plant growths. They modulate the micro weather environment for each plant growth species.