It seems to be almost daily that technology advances at breakneck speed and something of tomorrow is invented that will improve our lives today beyond measure. This is another one of those days as Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten have designed and plan to put into action a self reliant supermarket.
The brains behind the plan are Rotterdam based architects, Jago van Bergem and Evert Kolpa. The pair aspire to bring the world sustainable developments through the moulding of economy, space and social relevance, with particular attention being placed on food and social cohesion.
The idea seems common sense once you hear the logic. In an era where the utilisation of space is fundamental to our survival, as is our progression towards a greener lifestyle, the idea of monopolising the production of food right through to the selling of it would lead to a more economical and practical business structure.
Plans for Park Supermarket begin in Randstad. The area consists of 170 different nationalities, food and culinary traditions so the task is going to be one of diversity and adaptation to bring the consumers what they want. The landscape surrounding the area has almost optimum conditions with peat and clay being the basis of the underlying soil, new climate zones of both moderate and tropical flourishing throughout the year and raised water levels creating an entirely new terrain to be cultivated.
These conditions mean that anything from risotto rice to Tilapia fish to kiwis can be grown, farmed and then quickly sold within the 1600 hectares on which Park Supermarket is being built. The technology that allows this pioneering form of food production comes from some older techniques and some more contemporary ones. Warmth accumulating snake walls are nothing new but when combined with insulating water spray ‘roofs’ and floor heating to replicate the necessary conditions make this a state-of-the-art farming facility.
This hybrid of open space, consumption and recreation forms a gateway for entrepreneurship as each plot can be managed and rented by the local community, creating not only an innovative way to sell food but an economical way to power a population.
Look out for the Van Bergen Kolpa duo at the World Architecture awards in Barcelona where both Park Supermarket as well as another recent design Cohousing Hoogvliet have been shortlisted for the award.