vertical urban farm in san diego by brandon martella vertical urban farm in san diego by brandon martella
mar 16, 2013

vertical urban farm in san diego by brandon martella

‘live share grow’ by brandon martella, san diego, california, USAimage © brandon martella all images courtesy of brandon martella



in response to an exponential growth in population and current trends in unsustainable food consumption, san diego architect brandon martella has proposed a new high-rise building typology that integrates an expansive farm and market into the american urban landscape. the vertical farm skyscraper is an architecture that responds to a burgeoning economic and environmental issue– a problem of fruit and vegetable supply not meeting the 320+ kilogram per person demand in the united states. since the bulk of produce for san diego comes from both the imperial and central california valleys, the issue of food sustainability and acquisition is one of increasing importance in the region. half residential tower, half 23 acre farm, the project aims to become both an economic powerhouse and spectacle in addition to producing a projected 266,796 kilograms of food every three months. the 152 meter tall expanse of crops would be protected by glazing and use recycled grey water from the building to create a viable aquaponics network. additionally, harnessed black water would become part of a compact combustion system for thermal energy. the urban farm-to-market model not only provides locals with homegrown food, but the structure’s proximity to the waterfront and convention center also make for the site to become a tourist and educational destination. the social exchange of farmer and resident is also central to the project, made manifest in the ground floor commercial space as well as a tenth storey void that pushes residential circulation areas into the center of the farm. while meeting areas are alternately double height or more intimate, apartments are interlocking 92 and 55 square meter units, spatially informed by le corbusier’s marseille block. the building is one that posits an encompassing solution to myriad behaviors by creating a consciousness in consumers of space, commerce and culture. 



brandon martella on ‘live share grow’
video courtesy of fox news



the building in context image © brandon martella



the ‘farm’ portion of the tower faces south for optimal sunlight image © brandon martella



the proposal aims to create a model for sustainable urban life image © brandon martella



glazing encloses the greenhouse, while a void connects the farm to the residential units image © brandon martella



interior view of the market image © brandon martella



concept and sunlight diagram image © brandon martella



the architecture ideally plugs into the urban grid image © brandon martella



the site is served well by public transport and is among tourist locations and residential developments image © brandon martella



component diagram- residential, concrete structure and farm racks image © brandon martella



component diagram- structure, glazing, assembled form image © brandon martella



site plan and floor plans (left and top) / elevation (bottom right) image © brandon martella



section image © brandon martella



exploded axonometric drawing image © brandon martella



one of the residential units image © brandon martella



concept diagram image © brandon martella



food chart image © brandon martella



light-hearted ‘american gothic’ portrait of residents image © brandon martella

  • If only someone would actually build one of these, so many designs, this being one of the better I think, yet no one has the balls to actually build one. Unless of course someone has and I’ve missed it, has anyone built a farmskyscraper yet?

    Bedlamite23 says:

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