August 10, 2012 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Urbanana is a cool urban vertical banana plantation concept dreamed up by creative minds at The Agricultural Urbanism Lab, part of the Parisian firm SOA Architects, as a means of redefining and invigorating urban agriculture in cities like Paris. Even if the project never materializes, it has already been successful for the name alone.
Although the primary function of the building’s highly mechanized design would be to promote and develop agricultural urbanism, it would also create an interesting visual focal point on the street. It’s glass facade would allow natural light to permeate the farm, and with a bit of additional artificial lighting, would create optimal conditions for banana cultivation. Agricultural production would occupy the equivalent of six floors and employ a chain rotation system accessed by internal bridges.
The urban plantation’s ground floor would include a public exhibition area as well as a research laboratory.
But why bananas? The designers felt that bananas were becoming more of a luxury fruit, becoming expensive in the European market due to transport costs and ripening constraints. As bananas are in demand not just as a food, but also for use in the production of cosmetics, Urbanana could in theory introduce a method of significantly reducing greenhouse emissions and therefore make a real impact the economy.
In addition to providing Parisians with a favorite locally grown fruit, Urbanana’s glass enclosed vertical plantation would fit beautifully into the urban landscape, nestled between residential buildings where against the backdrop of steel and cement, it would afford striking views of an interior of vertically climbing tropical fruit trees.
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About The Agricultural Urbanism Lab
The Agricultural Urbanism Lab is a platform for reflection and exchanges aimed at promoting and developing agricultural urbanism, and defines itself as a collaborative structure bringing together its members’ competences and efforts for innovative projects.