by SPARK Architects
^ SPARK Homefarm: daily life of senior citizens in home farm - a mix of agriculture and green living
Considering the disparate aspects of health and happiness, from the basic provision of freshwater to homes for dogs and the essential issue of respectful aged care, SPARK has worked on a number of projects that seek to support those that have an increasingly fragile independence and environment.
Homefarm is a conceptual proposal for the next generation of urban retirement housing. It presents a residential and commercial farming typology for Singapore that combines apartments and facilities focussed on but not exclusively senior living and vertical urban farming. The residents live in a high-density garden environment created by the vegetable farm, where they may find employment. SPARK’s aim is to generate discussion about the potential that can emerge from the mixing of two typically separate realms. The research-based design addresses two pressing challenges faced by Singapore: how the city-state might support a rapidly ageing society, and how it might enhance its food security 90% of which is currently imported.
01 - Aerial view of home farm, looking to the tiong bahru area 02 - Section cutting through the produce market 03 - Public social space 04 - Daily life of senior citizens in home farm - a mix of agriculture and green living 05 - Public deck of home farm
Homefarm is a new typology for residential living that seeks to retain the older generation within a supportive cross-sectional community rather than isolating them from it. Homefarm achieves something that many higher-density models struggle to offer, a proximity to nature.
A growing body of evidence shows the correlation between physical surroundings, the inflow of natural light and green views are the basis of better physical and mental health. Green spaces and immersion in nature aligned to community participation have positive effects on a wide range of parameters, such as cognitive abilities, stress and cardiovascular health.
01 - A community of 6 residential towers, medical offices enclosing a large central garden 02 - View of central garden from Medical Suites 03 - Planted terraces overlooking edible gardens 04 - Master plan
3 Little Pigs
Each summer many of the lakes in Yunnan Province, China’s center of pig husbandry turn bright green caused by excess nutrients. A phenomenon known as eutrophication caused by pig manure leaching into the water chain. When it rains, untreated animal waste from farms washes into lakes, streams and rivers. Polluted water is a chronic problem in China despite the government’s attempts to eradicate unethical agricultural practices and water contamination.
SPARK’s 3 Little Pigs is a biomass power generator that uses and contains the pig manure in a positive fashion turning pig manure into a “free” source of power for the errant farmers.
01 - A Biomass power generator 02 - Contributing to the farming skyline 03 - Serving the local farming community 04 - A spot of pink in the landscape 05 - A biomass power generator
Ranfurly and Cochrane
SPARK’s Garden Rooms for the Ranfurly and Cochrane care homes take their inspiration from Skara Brae a Neolithic settlement-- simple shelters linked together by a protected convivial courtyard. SPARK’s “garden rooms” at Ranfurly and Cochrane comprise three linked components: a gazebo / glass house, a fishpond and a sitting area. Each of the components is linked together with a continuous protective berm wall that is covered with aquaponic vegetable farming troughs, that a fed with nutrient rich water from the fishpond. The purpose of the “garden rooms” is to sustain the care home residents within a community that promotes activity and interaction through the productive and educational nature of the “garden rooms”. Residents can take part in the activities involved in the propagation, nurturing and harvesting of the plants growing within and around the “garden rooms”. Shelter, warmth, safety and activity are combined in a socially inclusive proposal where residents hopefully could feel happy. The “garden rooms” at Ranfurly and Cochrane work at above all at an emotional and physical level. It draws its energy from a cognitive stimulating green and growing garden environment that is fun entertaining place to be.
01 - A social greenhouse inspired by Skara Brae and Scottish thatch roofs 02 - Edible planting within the SPARK Ranfurly Cochrane greenhouse 03 - Objectives 04 - Sectional perspective 05 - A social greenhouse
SPARK upcycles single use PET 1 plastic drinking water bottles into a house for a dog. The dog house was designed and manufactured in SPARK’s Singapore studio and then shipped to London and auctioned on behalf of the Blue Cross animal welfare charity. PET 1 Polyethylene terephthalate commonly abbreviated (PET) is the most common thermoplastic polymer used for plastic containers primarily single use disposable bottle production. 1 million PET 1 plastic bottles are bought by consumers around the world every minute, 20,000 every second. 80% of these plastic bottles are NOT recycled, ending up in landfill or the ocean.
Researchers suggest that by 2050 the weight of plastics in the ocean will outweigh the combined weight of all fish. SPARK’s PET 1 doghouse is a reminder that we need to be more inventive how we deal with the plastic epidemic that our wasteful society faces. The PET 1 doghouse is composed from recycled upcycled water bottles fixed to a bespoke printed plastic frame/ basket like armature. The screw thread bottle caps are used to fasten the clear plastic bottles to the frame via plastic gaskets and a rubber membrane that renders the doghouse watertight. The exposed bottle bases are finished with fluorescent plastic yellow discs. The doghouse frame is fixed to a recycled WBP plywood base that is insulated and wrapped with the rubber membrane. A washable cushion provides a comfortable mattress for the pooch.
01 - A completed “Pet1”, constructed in the studio from recycled PET water bottles 02 - Constructing “Pet1” in the SPARK workshop 03 - “Reservoir Dogs” conceptual sketches 04 - SPARK associate Luca Maccarinelli putting “Reservoir Dogs” together for the auction 05 - “Reservoir Dogs” on exhibition at St Pancreas Station, London
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