Italian architect Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has unveiled the design of a “Farmscraper” in Shenzhen, southeast China. This will be a 218m-tall office block with a hydroponic farm acting as the façade.
The tower’s 10,000 sq m exterior will be capable of producing 270,000 kg of food a year, enough to feed 40,000 people.
Fruits and vegetables grown outside the tower will be available to buy and consume inside.
CRA worked with Italian agriculture firm Zero to optimise the tower’s agricultural suitability for a variety of produce from herbs to salad greens, with the help of an “AI agronomist”, which will manage irrigation and nutrition.
The 51-floor Jian Mu Tower will located in Shenzhen’s central business district and will also contain offices, a supermarket and a food court across 90,000 sq m.
A number of double-height gardens will blur the boundary between interior and exterior spaces and will contain a wide variety of flora including water lilies, ferns and lychee trees.
Carlo Ratti, CRA’s founder, said: “Small-scale urban farming is happening in cities all over the world, from Paris to New York to Singapore. Jian Mu Tower, however, takes it to the next level. This approach has the potential to play a major role in the design of future cities as it engages one of today’s most pressing architectural challenges: how to integrate the natural world into building design.”
He added: “In addition to producing food, the Jian Mu Tower’s farm helps with solar shading – a key issue in tall buildings.”
Images courtesy of CRA