Project statement: The Urban Skyfarm is a vertical farm design proposal for a site located in downtown Seoul, right adjacent to the Cheonggyecheon stream which is a heavily populated dense urban area within the central business district.  Inspired by Dr. Dickson Despommier’s original idea of “Vertical farm”, the Urban Skyfarm is a prototype vertical farm project which would mainly support local food production and distribution while at the same time contribute to improving the environmental quality through water, air filtration and renewable energy production.
Second Award | RTFA 2014 Awards
Category: Urban Design Concept
Participant  Name: Steve Lee
Country: United States 

Through lifting the main food production field high up in the air, the vegetations gain more exposure toward the natural sunlight and fresh air while the ground level becomes more freed up with nicely shaded open spaces which could be enjoyed by the public. The bio mimicry of the tree form gives many structural and environmental advantages to form a light weight efficient space frame which could host diverse farming activities. The four major components which are the root, trunk, branch and leaf each have their own spatial characteristics which are suitable for various farming conditions.
While the upper portions provide open to air farming decks for medium based vegetations, the lower portions enclosed by the structural skin provide more controlled environments for solution based leafy productions. During daytime the photovoltaic panels generate electricity to be used for night time lighting and heating to support farming. The Urban Skyfarm creates a mini ecosystem which brings balance back to the urban community.

Project SPECS
Project Height:  Sky farm (160m), Hydroponic Farm (45m)
Total Area:   157,800 m2 (Sky farm 144,450 m2, Hydroponic Farm 13,350 m2)
Program Requirements:    Hydroponic Farm, Botanic Garden, Viewing Deck, Cafeteria, Farmers Market Water Filtration Facility, Renewable Energy Production Facility
Material:    Light weight steel structure with open joint aluminum cladding.
Farming System:   Medium based Hydroponic System, Solution based Hydroponic System