Designed by SOA + holdUP, the FERME DARWIN Proposal synthesizes a vertical farm and cultural facilities in an original manner. Stacking these disparate elements of art, music, and education up is like celebrating the insertion of agriculture in the very heart of the city. Anchored in a visionary city like Bordeaux, the project also addresses health, food, ethical and social concerns. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Nested in the remains of niel’s barracks, the Ferme Darwin is a pilot project which accommodates multiple functions, right in between nature and culture. On the occasion of an outdoor concert or a temporary exhibition, passers-by are pleased to learn about environmental issues tightly bound to agriculture. This educational virtue seems essential in a period during which the food chain is more opaque for consumers than ever. The production technique and crops’ traceability are here crystal clear.
Set as a continuation of the future walk, the music stage and the educational gallery will both turn the existing ruin into a permeable surrounding wall, still bearing marks of time. In the background, an access is given to technical facilities supporting the vertical farm. This collection of clustered spaces is located at street level to free upper stories from any unnecessary load. Consequently, plants seem to levitate almost supernaturally, held up by a lightweight steel structure to benefit from a maximized light exposure.
The concept of stackable compartments to grow plants was developed with an entirely flexible structural frame offering multiples assets. Man works about six feet off the ground, in a traditional fashion, and grows any kind of food. Every harvest is biological and optimized throughout the year owing to a combination of complementary species. The multilevel system meets ecological and sustainable requirements, technically (auto-regulated water-efficient device, solar energy, organic farming, short supply chain) as much as sociologically (employment).
Architects: SOA + holdUP
Location: Bordeaux, France
Client: Darwin Ecosysteme
Typology: Vertical farm, music stage & educational gallery
Condition: Private commission
Floor Area: 2,800sqm