Tai Po District, with an area of some 14,800 hectares in the northeast New Territories, is the second largest administrative district in Hong Kong. JAPA Architects proposed this site because they believe its proximity to the high-rise developments of the Kowloon-Hong Kong area is a positive aspect to propose a low food mileage vertical production infrastructure which can feed the city population (close to the urban centres).
Architect Javier F. Ponce said: “Since Hong Kong has a predominant verticality, a lack of buildable space and consist largely of steep hillside, it can be interesting to reinterpret this verticality and propose this new type of vertical farming on the city’s outskirts.”
The proposal deals with the development of modern, efficient and environmentally acceptable farming structures in China, where food consumption in relationship to food transportation distances is a crucial factor for a sustainable future. JAPA Architects foresee a paradigm shift to vertical agriculture structures which can be integrated into a territorial network along the country.
Inspired by China’s rice farming agriculture, amazing shifting terraces and agricultural hardware which consists basically of a tensile use of materials to produce lightweight and resistant structures, our proposal emphasises the use of shifting floorplates and light structural systems which incorporates recycled metallic material. A system of inner circular rails on each floorplate and will allow crops to rotate in order to have sunlight for the during the day. The 187 meters structures will attract locals & international visitors and become new places for education and agricultural research.
* Vertical structures which provide food, save land and at the same time act as a biodiversity magnet
* Paradigm shift: create more agricultural land by building upwards / No soil erosion, now Food will be grown hydroponically in a series of vertical process-connected structures
* Location Flexibility according to the closest urban centre needs ( potential for different country locations)
*360 degree viewing platforms at 2 levels and new spaces in the upper floors for research on new farming techniques
* Avoid depending on major imports
* Close-by Industry: processing healthy food & create work places
Since 2000, China’s cities have expanded at an average rate of 10% annually. Although China’s agricultural output is the largest in the world, only about 15% of its total land area can be cultivated. China’s arable land, which represents 10% of the total arable land in the world, supports over 20% of the world’s population. Of this approximately 1.4 million square kilometres of arable land, only about 1.2% (116,580 square kilometres) permanently supports crops and 525,800 square kilometres are irrigated. The land is divided into approximately 200 million households, with an average land allocation of just 0.65 hectares (1.6 acres).
China’s limited space for farming has been a problem throughout its history. While the production efficiency of farmland has grown over time, efforts to expand to the west and the north have held limited success, as such land is generally colder and drier than traditional farmlands to the east. Since the 1950s, farm space has also been pressured by the increasing land needs of industry and cities