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Farmscrapers are vertical farming on steroids

  • Farmscraper designs are stunning and look like an agricultural version of Blade Runner, but the descriptions smell of pie-in-the-sky dreams.

Farmscrapers may be trumpeted as futuristic towers, but that description is an understatement — the designs look more like an agricultural version of Blade Runner.

The city fathers of Shenzhen, China (a merging megalopolis just north of Hong Kong) commissioned Vincent Callebaut Architectures, a French firm, to design a sustainable all-in-one structure that meshes with the environmental demands of the exploding city.

Vincent Callebaut did precisely that and then some, creating the Shenzhen Asian Cairn Farmscraper project. The plan is made up of six farmscraper towers that shoot into the sky, and are connected top-to-bottom with spiraling steel ring pebbles that provide housing, offices, retail businesses, and farming. According to Callebaut: “Each spiral curls up around two megalithic towers and forms urban ecosystems implanting the biodiversity in the heart of the city under the shape of vast public orchards and urban agriculture fields. Huge basins of viticulture and vast lagoons of phyto-puration recycle the gray waters rejected by the inhabited vertical farms.”


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Flowing words for sure, but they sure seem to smell of pie-in-the-sky dreams. The city fathers of Shenzhen shouldn’t have to crane their necks upward anytime soon; they should expect groundbreaking on the Asian Cairns around the same year Mars is colonized.

Despite skepticism, the pictures and design by the Callebaut firm are fantastic and well worth a look — Photo gallery: Farmscrapers dwarf vertical farming

Twitter: @CBennett71

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Discuss this Blog Entry 1

ZeroSum2 (not verified)
on Mar 21, 2013

You are right, the pictures are well worth the look. Very enjoyable story. One thing for sure: They won't be driving a tractor down the row!

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