Urban farm retirement homes idea wins top architecture prize

Spark Architects won the "experimental" category at the 2015 World Architecture Festival, held earlier this month in Singapore.

The practice’s "Home Farm" aims to deal with two of the main issues facing cities in Asia: an ageing population and excessive food imports.

You do not need to be commissioned or have a client before you can and should commit ideas to paper– Stephen Pimbley, Spark Architects

The idea is that elderly residents can occupy themselves with growing crops in "vertical farms" contained within buildings, thereby providing the city with food and themselves with a modest income.

Occupants can work as part-time agriculturalists, but there is no obligation to work.

Spark say that 90% of Singapore’s meals are imported, so action is needed to improve food security.

The Home Farm is designed not to isolate its residents from the wider community and to provide a familiar caring family environment for those who require medical care. For example, it aims to provide a cross-section of accommodation for single residents be means of three-generation apartments.

The apartments are supplemented by a range of other public facilities including a clinic, a crèche, a farm shop and a food court.

Stephen Pimbley, Spark’s director, said: "You do not need to be commissioned or have a client before you can and should commit ideas to paper.

"Home Farm is a project that celebrates social value and inclusivity, characteristics that underpin the role of the architect. We should try to improve the quality of people’s lives using our skill, imagination and energy."

No Home Farms have as yet been commissioned.

See a full list of winners here.

Image via Spark Architects

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