antonio scarponi combines urban farming with industrial rooftops
antonio scarponi combines urban farming with industrial rooftops antonio scarponi combines urban farming with industrial rooftops
jun 15, 2014

antonio scarponi combines urban farming with industrial rooftops

antonio scarponi combines urban farming with industrial rooftops
photo © monica tarocco
all images courtesy of antonio scarponi




architect antonio scarponi has noticed that large, flat, homogeneous, and unused mechanical rooftops offer great possibilities to install urban farms and provide food within the city. building codes of industrial areas normally do not constrain heights, giving agrarian activities a concrete opportunity to capitalize the unused spaces. urban agriculture has a lot to do with the use of unexpressed potential of the metropolis, turning them into areas of productivity.

shrubs and plants are grown along a railing that filtrates water
photo © monica tarocco




the ‘urban farmers rooftop’ in basel, switzerland consists of a strategic plan that brings these ideas to fruition. the 400 m² site is precisely conceived as an device to grow the district. an aquaponic system has been installed to create a balanced environment in which the fish nourish the vegetables, and in return, the vegetables clean water for the fish.  the architecture consists of two prefabricated modules that correspond to the main features of the program: a greenhouse for the production of the plants, and containers for all the other activities such as administration offices, storage closets, and dressing rooms. both spaces can be organized in different layouts to engage the possibility that food can be grown on top of any flat industrial building, overcoming the historical dichotomy between city and country side.

mass amounts of glazing bring light into the greenhouse for the production of fruits and vegetables
photo © monica tarocco

antonio scarponi rooftop farming urban industrial
exterior rendering of the urban farm

antonio scarponi rooftop farming urban industrial
interior rendering of the aquaponics systems producing fruits and vegetables

conceptual strategy organizing the modular system

the aquaponic rooftop utilizes shipping containers and a greenhouse
photo © monica tarocco

conceptual sketch model kit that plays off of the idea that farm can be easily implemented




preliminary design sketch of proportional spaces

preliminary design sketch of voids

preliminary design sketch of horizontal and vertical farming



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • I agree with the concept, but for high oxygen output plants… To clear the air in the industrial districts. For food I do not agree… There are still a lot of agricultural arable land for producing food…

    Designbam says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,531 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample