Plantagon designs an office block containing a 60-metre-high urban farm
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Plantagon designs office block containing a 60-metre-high urban farm

Our latest Dezeen x MINI Living video features a proposal for an office tower that doubles as a vertical farm, by Swedish architecture firm Plantagon.

Called the World Food Building, the project is currently under construction in the Swedish town of Linköping and is due to be completed in 2020.

Half of the 60-metre-tall building will be occupied by offices, while the other half will be used as an urban greenhouse.

In the greenhouse spaces, food will be grown using hydroponic farming – a method that involves submersing crops in nutrient-rich water. This technique is becoming increasingly popular with urban-farming experts as it doesn't require large areas of land to be successful.

Plantagon says the building will demonstrate the company's approach to urban architecture. It calls this "agritechture" – a portmanteau word combining the terms agriculture, technology and architecture.

"Our goal is to produce the most food on the smallest footprint using the least amount of water and other resources and yet still maintain premium quality", the architecture firm states. "We minimise the use of transportation, land, energy and water – using waste products in the process but leaving no waste behind."

The north-facing side of the building contains 17 floors of office spaces, while a sloped glass facade covers the south side to allow the maximum amount of sun to pass into the farming areas.

A nearby waste incineration and bio-gas plant provides the building with heating, as well as fuel for food-production.

"Plantagon uses symbiotic solutions to develop large industrial food-production systems. These systems turn excess heat, biomass and even carbon dioxide emissions into assets for local food production", Plantagon claimed.

"The greenhouse receives and uses excess heat from the nearby power plant. The waste from the greenhouse is then sent to the biogas plant for composting, so there's a nice circular movement of energy."

Plantagon believes that the recycling of resources usually regarded as waste is key to making urban farming work in the long term.

"Making this type of symbiotic system is a must, in order to make a greenhouse for urban agriculture sustainable," it concluded.

This movie is part of Dezeen x MINI Living Initiative, a year long collaboration with MINI exploring how architecture and design can contribute to a brighter urban future through a series of videos and talks.