Project author Singh Intrachooto presented the Holcim Awards Silver winner for Asia Pacific in 2011, Urban Farm Urban Barn, at the 9th Green Forum organized by Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines (Green AP) held in Manila on September 7/8, 2012. The forum brings together local and regional experts in green technology to share opportunities for innovative solutions in the face of the challenges of climate change.
Singh Intrachooto was a key consultant on the project and holds a PhD in Design Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also a Design Innovation Ambassador for Thailand’s National Innovation Agency.
Urban Farm Urban Barn is designed to be an eco-community mall that supports food security in Bangkok’s Rat Burana district, particularly during natural disasters such as floods or storms preventing produce from being delivered to the district. Vegetables and fruit will be grown using organic farming methods.
Event organizer Lilibeth Ducut-Abais explained that the concept of re-creating agricultural production on the 1.4-hectare site within the booming city of Bangkok, replacing a former textile factory and abandoned farmland was replicable also in the Philippines. “The Urban Farm Urban Barn is a very interesting project that could serve as a viable model here,” she said.
The event, supported each year by Holcim Philippines, also featured an exhibition of Holcim Awards prize-winning projects that demonstrate an ability to stretch conventional notions about sustainable building and also balance environmental, social and economic performance. The partnership with Green AP began in 2005 when Holcim Philippines asked for support in promoting the Holcim Awards competition. The Concrete Substrates for Accelerated Coral Restoration project from Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines won the inaugural Holcim Awards Silver for Asia Pacific.See more
The Thai Urban Farm Urban Barn project was praised for its creative response to the detrimental consequences of urbanization at the international Design Research Society conference hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. A reception in recognition of the Global Holcim Awards Finalist was a feature of the DRS+Holcim = Sustainable Development workshop, organized in cooperation with Siam City Cement and the Holcim Foundation.
The Design Research Society (DRS) is multi-disciplinary learned society for the design research community worldwide. The society’s biennial conference on the theme of Re:search – uncertainty, contradiction and value attracted more than 300 academics and practitioners from 42 countries.
The workshop on sustainable development in the context of the building and construction industry was a platform to showcase creative ways in which challenges of urbanization, population growth, and ecological degradation can be addressed. The workshop featured a presentation by Global Holcim Awards Finalist, Singh Intrachooto, Design Principal at OSISU of his project which also won the Holcim Awards Silver 2011 in Asia Pacific. The regeneration plan was praised by the Holcim Awards jury for its potential to create a new urban culture, which re-sensitizes the community to its ecological impacts and offers a new perception of urbanity that is readily transferable.
The Global Holcim Awards Finalist 2012 certificate was presented to project owner Isavaret Tamonut of TTH Trading and architect Singh Intrachooto of OSISU by Paul Hugentobler, Member of the Executive Committee of Holcim, who emphasized the benefit that considering the many aspects of sustainability had brought to the Urban Farm Urban Barn project to be realized in Bangkok. “The project provides us with an exciting glimpse of how the ideal built environment might look in the future: if the right questions are asked at the design and research stage”, he said.
The declining rural economy is reactivated in the context of modern urbanity, and elaborated in a remarkable way. Singh Intrachooto explained that the site will include a 4,000m2 vegetable and mushroom farm, flower-growing halls, an urban marketplace for local produce and an eco-shopping mall. “We are bringing agriculture back into the city,” he said.
A further lecture on the “endurance test” which will frame urban sustainability by Dirk Hebel, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Construction at the Future Cities Laboratory which was established by the ETH Zurich and Singapore’s National Research Foundation provided additional insight. Further, he talked of his experiences teaching at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture Building Construction and City Development (EiABC) for over three years, and prerequisite strengthening of the capacity for design and construction within local populations to achieve sustainable built environments.
Jürgen Mayer H., Founder and Principal of J. MAYER H. Architekten, Berlin who was also head of the Holcim Awards 2011 jury for Europe discussed of “activators” at the intersection of architecture, communication and new technology. He also emphasized the value of creating urban icons and compared the Urban Farm Urban Barn project to his Holcim Awards Bronze 2005 winning project, Metropol Parasol, which are both divergent from the city fabric surrounding them.
In addition to the presentations, an exhibition of exemplary projects from the Holcim Awards competition and a variety of green projects as well as innovative and sustainable products from Siam City Cement (SCCC) were presented. The SCCC projects included the Green Village flood recovery initiative, Green Park project located near the Saraburi cement plant in honor of the 84th birthday of His Majesty Rama IX of Thailand. The DRS international conference examines global perspectives on the theory, education and practice of design. The next conference will be held at the Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden in 2014.See more
The projects that received Holcim Awards Gold, Silver, or Bronze in each of the five regions of the world were automatically qualified to compete for the Global Holcim Awards 2012. The more extensive submission on the Urban agriculture and factory conversion for the global phase of the competition can be found here:
The Holcim Awards Silver was presented to a Thai project team led by Isavaret Tamonut of TTH Trading for the conversion of a former textile factory and adjacent land into a 1.4ha agricultural production site and retail outlet. The Urban Farm Urban Barn is located in a mixed use urban zone of central Bangkok and reintroduces elements of self-sufficiency while also reconnecting food production and consumption. The project was applauded by the jury for its potential to create a new urban culture, re-sensitizing the community to its ecological impacts and offering a new perception of urbanity that is readily transferrable.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2011 for Asia Pacific »
The jury commended this project for demonstrating an innovative way to respond to the detrimental consequences of urbanization in a rapidly-growing metropolis. Industrial wasteland, usually scarring the urban fabric, is re-cultivated and moreover becomes a local point of attraction, providing a number of social and ecological benefits.
This scheme has the potential to create a new urban culture, re-sensitizing the community to its ecological impacts, and offering a new perception of urbanity that is readily transferable. Since the project is commercially driven, it has a strong potential to be realized and will act as a test laboratory for this new kind of organizational structure – illustrating its capacity for economic performance and compatibility.See more
Located in a mixed use urban zone in central Bangkok, the Urban Farm Urban Barn aims to return green areas to the booming city. A former textile factory and abandoned farmland on an adjacent block shall be transformed into a 1.4ha agricultural production site and retail outlet. The atrophying rural economy is reactivated in the context of modern urbanity, and elaborated in a remarkable way. The factory building is converted into an eco-supermarket, additional buildings, such as a restaurant and marketplace are integrated into the crop production by becoming agricultural structures themselves.
Crops and their sequences are carefully selected and balanced, aiming to maximize harvest without exploiting the resources, while providing a habitat for local fauna. In a larger context, this concept aims to counterbalance the ongoing spatial separation of food production and consumption. A number of such units are intended to be established in the metropolitan area, reintroducing elements of self-sufficiency and reconnecting food production and consumption.Download project entry poster (PDF, 1.13 MB) »See more
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