Vertical Farm Concept Wins Pomeroy Studio's Award

Vertical Farm Concept Wins Pomeroy Studio's Award

A Vertical Farm project concerned with food sustainability and vertical agriculture within the context of Singapore was this year's winner of Pomeroy Studio's Design for A Sustainable Future Award (DSFA). Matthew Humphreys, a Nottingham University graduate, subsequently joined Pomeroy Studio on the prestigious 3-months internship. He has now returned to the UK to finish the final year of his Masters in Architecture where he will then be awarded RIBA Part 2 accreditation.

In his last semester, Matthew undertook the Sustainable Tall Buildings design studio where he designed a Vertical Aquaponic Farm, on a site in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore. The design is a prototype for a new Singaporean urban vision, which sees many of these towers scattered over the island to produce sustainable agriculture and aquaculture for the local community.

The design itself consists of an elongated tower, with the longest sides facing east-west for maximum solar exposure to promote growing. At the northern and southern ends, apartments are located for the farmers. The central parts of the tower consist of ETFE-clad atria housing aquaponic-growing systems for the production of fish and food; fish in the tanks produce ammonia rich waste, too much of which is toxic so must be removed. Bacteria in the fish tanks break the ammonia down to nitrates, which are taken in as food by the plants via their roots. This process filters the water as well as fertilizing the plants. Fish are then smoked in special smoking towers, the full height of the building. Structurally, the tower is lifted off the ground on large composite structural legs, which open up the ground floor interface to be used as a vibrant shaded market.

Humphreys believes that vertical agriculture may not necessarily be outside the realms of reality. "The city-state is highly dependent on imports for feeding its growing population, with 97% of all food coming from abroad, and just over 1% of the total landmass of the country being devoted to agriculture. In addition, Singaporeans consume 100,000 tonnes of fish annually, with only 4% coming from local aquaculture," he commented.

Pomeroy Studio