Crossing Cycles – structures of symbiosis

Architecture is a visionary profession that combines concepts with emergent material and engineering technologies that offer glimpses of possible futures. “Crossing Cycles”, Farm of the Future, by muu-baa members Stefan Rier and Lukas Rungger of NOA* explores three imagined structures for the farm.

Crossing Cycles, Farm of the Future by NOA

The first structure, “cowshed”, shows how methane production from cows can be harnessed to create inflatable structures. A gaseous byproduct of burning the methane is  carbon dioxide. This is absorbed by blue-green algae that are later harvested as a biomass supplement feed for the cows, completing a symbiotic cycle of production.

“Solar chimneys”, vertical silos driven by solar power, house sub-tropical and tropical fruits, with irrigation water being recycled via a fish pond and warm-air provided by inflatable PVC structures warmed by the sun. Opportunities for well-being experiences include strolling in the fruit towers,  pedicures courtesy of the fish in the pond, and relaxing on the inflatable structures.

The last vision is a contemporary farm house comprising a biomorphic bubble incorporating multi-functional private/public spaces. For example, an extendable structure acts as a temporary public theatre or as a room for family relaxation.

While this vision feels strange, the reality of a farm as a source of renewable energy and production is here today. La Bellota farm near Turin, Italy, is self-sufficient in energy using a combination of bio-mass, solar and hydrogen sources. Where can the reality of La Bellota and the vision of Crossing Cycles hybridise?