Inspired by the idea of Dr. Dickson Despommier of “The Vertical Farm“, the Urban Skyfarm is a vertical farm design proposal, designed specifically for an area that is located in downtown Seoul and that hosts mainly local food production. The project won the “Design Award & Competition” in 2013.
It is right adjacent to the Cheonggyecheon stream, which is a heavily populated dense urban area within the central business district. Inspired by the ecological system of giant trees, the Urban Skyfarm is a prototype vertical farm project which would mainly support local food production and distribution while at the same time contribute to improving the environmental quality through water, air filtration and renewable energy production.
Through lifting the main food production field high up in the air, the vegetation gains more exposure toward the natural sunlight and fresh air, while the ground level becomes more freed up with nicely shaded open spaces which could be enjoyed by the public.
Environmentally, the Urban Skyfarm acts as a living machine which helps improving the environmental quality by filtering water and air, providing green, and producing renewable energy. The bio mimicry of the tree form gives many structural and environmental advantages to form a light weight efficient space frame which could host diverse farming activities. The four major components which are the root, trunk, branch and leaf each have their own spatial characteristics which are suitable for various farming conditions.
During the day the solar panels generate electricity to be used for night lighting and heating to support agriculture. The Tree-like form creates a strong iconic figure in the prominent location and becomes a symbol of well being and sustainable development.