The brief involved designing a building on the MMU Campus which responds to the CPU atelier theme of resilience through the notion of food. The site had many opportunities and limitations as it is adjacent to the Mancunium way, Oxford road and All saint’s park. My research led to developing a scheme that responds to this by using hydroponic technology to grow healthy food (without soil) in a vertical farm.
The aim of the project is to urbanise food production in response to the growing population, agricultural land shortage and the threats of climate change. The urban farming concept could be a solution to the unoccupied buildings in the city due to changes in trends, such as working from home and online shopping. As well as growing food, another key part of the programme is to educate the public around the topic of healthy eating and sustainable agricultural methods.
The design was informed by the unique environmental needs of each crop that is grown inside the greenhouse. Each level is therefore designed to accommodate a particular crop. The need for natural light, stable internal temperatures and the threat of climate change, drove the environmental design. Where appropriate passive strategies are used before mechanical strategies.
The inclined roof glazed roof is the key feature of the building and it was designed to maximise solar gains from the south and to divert rainwater into the concealed gutter, to facilitate a rainwater harvesting system that is reused by the crops growing inside.
I have an interest in research led architecture which was derived from my humanities elective ‘user centred design’. This influenced my studio design project
because the user’s needs were a key driver in this project.