Spark, an award-winning international architectural and design consultancy has come up with Homefarm, a conceptual proposal for the next generation of urban retirement housing, whioch it presented to the city state of Singapore.
Spark’s partners are Jan Felix Clostermann, Sven Steiner, Stephen Pimbley, Mingyin Tan, and Max Titchmarsh.
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It presents a living and farming environment that combines apartments and facilities for seniors with vertical urban farming.
Seniors live in a high-density garden environment created by a vegetable farm, where they may find employment.
SPARK wants to generate discussion about the many potentials that can emerge from the mixing of the above two typically separate realms. The research-based design addresses two pressing challenges faced by Singapore: how the city state might support a rapidly aging society, and how it might enhance its food security (90% of which is currently imported).
Among the oft-cited benefits of urban farming are improved food security and production sustainability. According to Spark Architects, its Homefarm part retirement home, part retiree-run urban farm concept would achieve not only these, but improved health and community spirit among Singapore seniors.
Homefarm would mix vertical aquaponic farming (fertilizing plants from the waste produced by fish also being farmed) and ground-level and rooftop soil planting of vegetables.
Rainwater would be collected for use in the aquaponic system and plant waste collected for use in biomass energy generation.
The accommodation can be designed specifically to meet the needs of seniors, who seniors would be part of running the farm, under the guidance of a professional team.
Spark Director Stephen Pimbley says he is keen for the Homefarm concept to be built in the future, calling it a “realizable solution to real and pressing problems.”