The food and energy projects, proposed by ZA Architects, will function as a network of public spaces in the once industrial district of Ost, found in Frankfurt am Main. Spanning 87,000 sq meters, the design intends to merge recreational space with the agricultural and energy production facilities needed to keep operations afloat. Focusing on a Greenhouse restaurant, the project centers on the idea of a self-sufficient dining establishment, whose food supply will be cultivated from both a greenhouse and the agricultural plot of an adjoining urban park.
Furthermore, all buildings shall operate with the energy produced from an on-site power plant.
The restaurant will be located within the greenhouse itself. In addition to utilizing space, this will help save on heating and lighting costs. These are perhaps supplementary savings, though, as beyond the greenhouse’s outer-wall is a shell of climate controlled windows.
Inside the restaurant, which will seat up to 50, guests are exposed to open, lush expanses of green space and an abundance of natural light, which is to be filtered through the geometrical panes of the glass ceiling. Also within the restaurant’s interior are multiple terraces, creating a south facing slope, which due to the transparent eastern wall appears as a seamless transition to the exterior terraces that fill the neighboring park.
The space beneath the terraces serves as the location to the kitchen, which offers a menu derived from traditional German cuisine; here, the technical facilities can also be found.
Snuggling the exterior walls of the Greenhouse restaurant is the energy park, from which sprout the project’s prime energy source, willow trees. After they’ve matured, the willow trees are to be cut, baled, and stowed in the vertical storage tower of the power plant. Tracing upward the tower, winding stairs lead to an observation deck, where the public can view the energy production process.
The proposed site had previously been abandoned and left to devolve into urban decay. Now, it at least has the potential to serve as a prototype for attainable self-sufficiency on a commercial level, which can ideally be adopted by businesses in the future to reduce the cost and emissions associated with the importation of energy and food.
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