Prefab Sprout

Vertical farming gets a conceptual boost in a design that reconnects urban residents with nature.

  • Words: John Turner
  • Photography: Virgin Lemon

Husband-and-wife architecture team, Chris and Fei Precht, moved their studio from Beijing to Austria in 2017. As part of a generation that wants to use architecture to create a new environmentally-friendly future, they have devised a project for city dwellers who simultaneously want to reach to the sky and stay close to nature.

‘In the next 50 years more food will be consumed than in the last 10,000 years combined. 80% will be eaten in cities. If food is grown locally, the supply chain can be shortened.’

The Farmhouse is a modular structure, made up of A-frame structures designed in cross-laminated timber. Each wall has three layers. The inner decorative layer supports electric and plumbing fittings, the middle layer provides insulation, and the external layer is where the gardening takes place.

Residents can choose how many modules they use, and whether to create apartments with private or communal gardens. They can also select their waste management units, water treatment, hydroponics and solar energy systems from the accompanying catalogue. The smallest space possible is nine metres square and has its own balcony.

Chris Precht says, ‘It is clear that we need to find an ecological alternative to our current food system. What and where we grow and eat. Topics like organic agriculture, clean meat, social sourcing and “farm to table” will be key elements of this change. That means that our urban areas need to become part of an organic loop with the countryside to feed our population and provide food security for cities’.

Article taken from
Articles

Further Reading

Alexandra David-Néel

Remembering the fierce five-foot Parisian who became the first Western woman to meet the Dalai Lama and whose writing inspired the likes of Kerouac and Ginsberg.

Truly Madly Deeply

Iridescent scales, exotic patterns, fluorescent fins: the jewels of the ocean. Ali bin Thalith’s passion for marine photography, kindled by his wish to capture a shot of the rare crystal octopus, has lasted for over 10 years 

The Kombai

Oliver Steeds describes the fast-changing world of the tree-dwelling Kombai tribe in Papua New Guinea, whose members are as fond of wisecracks as they are of the Sago grub.

Chichu Art Museum

Chichu means “under the earth” in Japanese; a particularly apt name for this unusual gallery which sits almost entirely underground.

The Essentials: Mark Beaumont

Last September the long-distance cyclist broke the record for cycling around the world. Here he gives an inventory of the kit that sustained him through his most challenging expedition.

Visions of the Year 2000

At the turn of the twentieth century a team of illustrators created their futuristic vision of the birth of the twenty-first century.
Browse by Category