London firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has revealed details of a concept for a bamboo-framed vertical farm that could provide an alternative to traditional land-intensive farming.
Named Skyfarm, the design is for a multi-storey hyperboloid structure that integrates different types of farming – ranging from traditional planting to aquaponics – and also produces its own energy.
Rogers Stirk Harbour claims the structure could be integrated into cities, but would also be suited to rural areas where land is scarce or soil quality is low. It would allow produce with short lifespans, like strawberries and spinach, to be grown close to market.
"Skyfarm proposes an alternative to the typical land-intensive farming systems," explained the firm, which recently completed a 50-storey office block in collaboration with Mexican firm Legorreta + Legorreta.
"These towers support several layers of agricultural cultivation and an aquaponics system that enables the growth of crops and fish together in a re-circulating system," added the team.
Market and restaurant areas could occupy the ground level of the tower, helping to educate the public. Farming areas would be located above, as well as water tanks and roof-mounted wind turbines.
As well as agricultural and aquaponic levels, the structure could also support aeroponic farming, where plants are grown without soil in a misty mineral-rich environment.