“And it is He who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah/charity] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.”
(The Qur’an, 6:141)
City in a Farm is a demonstration project, in Bukit Panjang, for transforming existing HDB neighbourhoods into food producing environments, empowering residents to grow their own food and becoming a food expo for learning. Food wastage is a real problem in Singapore because we are completely detached from the processes of growing food hence wasting becomes easy. Research has shown that education is key in moving forward. Henceforth, the thesis is not about food resilience but how architecture then becomes a tool to engage people in different types of farming so as to increase our appreciation for food, and reduce food waste overtime.
The thesis proposal includes interventions at the masterplan, HDB cluster and building scale. The HDB neighbourhood is chosen as most impact can be created by bringing these issues from fringe interest into our everyday. The architectural interventions adopt a timber frame structural system and utilise built surfaces and open spaces of our everyday to accommodate different food-related programs, from farming to waste composting. The school-community building, which is part of the larger scheme, becomes a place for social-farming activities and centre for nurturing the next generation of urban farmers.
The outcome of the thesis is a naturalised HDB environment with edible landscapes, farming pods and greenhouses which are interactive, playful, and socially-engaging, thereby also creating jobs and volunteer opportunities close to homes. Bukit Panjang therefore becomes a beacon of an example for other neighbourhoods and a building block towards the greater national agenda of City in a Farm.
This project postulates that engaging and educating consumers in farming is critical to tackling the enormous issue of food waste in Singapore. City in a Farm is conceived as a demonstration project for transforming existing HDB neighbourhoods into food producing environments and empowering residents to grow their own food. Architectural interventions at the masterplan, HDB cluster and building scale take the form of timber frame farming pods and greenhouses, and use left-over spaces, building surfaces, void-decks and roof tops to accommodate various food-related programs, from farming to waste composting. A new typology of school-community building becomes a place for social-farming activities and a centre for nurturing the next generation of urban farmers. The result is a naturalised HDB environment of edible landscapes, one that is interactive, playful, socially-engaging and impactful.- Senior Lecturer Swinal Samant Ravindranath (Dr.)