World’s modern cities impose challenges to our lifestyle, especially to mega-cities dwellers. As cities grow, the way we feel and connect with them also change. Even though megacities offer a world of opportunities, the uncontrolled population growth, the social disengagement, and the replacement of nature by high–rise buildings somehow disconnects us from our surroundings. We think that the way we design our dwellings is essential to make a difference, and that is why we chose the “Nature” category.
Our proposal aims to make the courtyard/atrium a space for people to engage with nature, and promote activity among J57s residents while giving this place an identity. This project is a contrast between openness, versatility and sustainability. Our concept is based on creating an architecture that can not only give the J57 courtyard some character, but also and a place to learn about the future of sustainable crops, and to also participate actively of it while enjoying the production in the market place.
As illustrated in our submission, the project consists of a hydroponic farm incorporated into a 3 stories- scaffolding open structure. First floor is designated to be a market place in which the production form the farm above is sold, with an open plan which intends to avoid disruption in the courtyards circulation area. Second and third level contain the hanging hydroponic tubes, which intends to open a vast number of possibilities for space allocation, and for usage. Growing our own food is not only an outdated, but also an almost impossible activity, especially in urban areas. Taking this concept and adapting it into a modern lifestyle is one of the main aspects of this project.
The design solution proposed is based on understanding how light structures can form an open, vibrant and most importantly a versatile space that can change within years, just as people’s lifestyles also change. We opted for hydroponics for the same reason we chose the scaffolding structure, they are simple and space-efficient (you can plant 4 times the amount of crops in the same space as soil farming), and can be set up almost anywhere. The light structure also allows to have open spaces, establishing a visual link between the projects to all of its surroundings in order to make it more appealing.
Hydroponics came as a practical solution to incorporate nature within the building. We thought urban agriculture could be the interactive factor that the space was missing, since people would have the chance to grow they own food, or to buy it in the market space in the level below, and what a better solution than one that doesn’t require much space, soil, and that can be done vertically and use artificial lighting? In this case, the vertical hanging hydroponic tubes allowed us to create green halls, in which people can explore, engage, and just enjoy that dose of nature that we all need.
This project is a reflection of what we think should be a priority in modern cities: a sustainable lifestyle, social engagement, and versatility, through simple yet efficient spaces which we think are easy to get and easy to adapt to. We hope you like our idea, and appreciate the time taken to review our project.