Architects: META architectuurbureau, van Bergen Kolpa architects
- Area: 9500 m²
- Year: 2021
Photographs:Filip Dujardin, Filippo Rossi
Manufacturers: Boal, Vetrasol, Zoontjes Beton
- Design Team Van Bergen Kolpa Architects: Jago van Bergen, Evert Kolpa, Rutger Aaftink, Joao Guilherme Viaro, Minyoung Kwon
- Design Team Meta Architectuurbureau: Niklaas Deboutte, Eric Soors, Axel Cayman, Frederik Bogaerts
- Client: Inagro, REO veiling
- Horticultural Engineer: Wageningen University and Research, Greenhouse Horticulture
- Greenhouse Engineer: Smiemans projecten
- Construction Engineer: Tractebel
- Climate Engineer: Tractebel
- City: Roeselare
- Country: Belgium
Text description provided by the architects. Rooftop greenhouse Agrotopia is Europe’s largest research center for urban food production. With its faceted glass facades, monumental entrance staircase, and stacking of functions, Agrotopia gives a striking architectural appearance to horticulture on the roofs of the city.
The innovative building is an example for future food production in the city, intensive use of space, circular energy and water use, and making greenhouse horticulture more sustainable. Agrotopia is built on the roof of the vegetable and fruit auction REO on the ring road of Roeselare; the logistics heart of West Flanders for fruit and vegetables. With a spectacular view of the wider area and the city, urban horticulture on industrial roofs is given a prominent place in the skyline of Roeselare.
Building for research and education. The 9,500 m2 building contains high-tech research facilities for the cultivation of fruity and leafy vegetables, surrounded by an educational route for the general public. The entrance with wide, ascending stairs leads to the Urban Horticulture square with visitor facilities in the heart of the building. In the facade conservatory on the ring road, there is a double-height conservatory for innovative vertical cultivation.
The foot of the double-height facade conservatory is used to store rainwater from the roof, which is used to irrigate the crops. Transparent sculpture. Rooftop Greenhouse Agrotopia is a proud, transparent sculpture of glass and steel. The architecture consists of a slender greenhouse construction that stands out against the sky and rests on the concrete base of the crates shed. The entire building consists of one standard greenhouse with diffused glass.
Circular water and energy use. All the rainwater that is collected with the building’s roof is used to irrigate the plants and the residual water is cleaned and reused. Municipal residual heat from the nearby Mirom waste incinerator heats the greenhouse. In short, Agrotopia lives in a circular symbiosis with the city. A new generation of city farmers. Agrotopia is the building where the new future generation of city farmers is trained. They will not only learn how to grow leafy vegetables and fruit vegetables but will also learn how to work with new horticultural technologies and business models.