Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners ‘Skyfarm’ is intended to combat global food shortages.
The multi-storey tower structure has a rigid circular frame to maximise sun exposure and supports several layers of agricultural cultivation, as well as an aquaponics system. This enables the growth of crops and fish in a re-circulating process, meaning nutrients from fish waste feeds plants that in turn provide filters for the fish.
At ground level there is a market or restaurant to engage public interest, and an education space or social hub where all the growing parts of the tower are visible.
Above this is a large transparent tank where freshwater fish are farmed. In the middle of the structure, plants are grown in water rather than soil. An ‘aeroponic’ system sits nearer the top where plants are grown in a misty environment using minimal water and no soil. The very top of the tower houses water tanks and wind turbines.
The practice says, should the tower ever be built, it could be ‘easily scaled’ and a 10m high version could be constructed in a school, or an 80m version built in a larger urban area. It could also be adapted to warmer or colder climates. The upfront costs of Skyfarm are higher than standard industrial agriculture, but the structure allows year round production without air-freighting produce from other countries.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners said: “By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centres. Over the same period of time, the earth’s population is expected to grow by an additional 3 billion people. If we continue to use traditional farming practices, it is believed that an area of land larger than Brazil will be needed to feed these additional people.”
Vertical farms have been planned in Seoul, Singapore and New Jersey.
Images and information courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Centre Pompidou.
- Community energy network.
- Cooling tower design and construction.
- District energy networks.
- Engineered bamboo.
- Hex House project.
- Leadenhall Building.
- Lloyds of London.
- One Hyde Park.
- RB12, Rio de Janeiro.
- Renewable energy.
- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
- The Mile.
- Y Cube.
 External references
- RSHP - Skyfarm
Featured articles and news
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.
Sir Oliver Letwin to lead an independent review into the delays in the delivery of housing.
As Carillion collapses, read our article explaining insolvency in the construction industry.
43,000 jobs at risk as Carillion declares insolvency..
1961 saw the publication of three important books about urban design that remain relevant today.
Next week the planning fee increases by 20% and new fees are introduced.
How the transformative power of BIM and other digital technologies can be used to gain a competitive edge.