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Arctic Harvester Proposes Large-Scale Hydroponic-Farming Near Greenland | ArchDaily


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Arctic Harvester was the first prize winning entry in the “Innovation and Architecture for the Sea” category of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation International Architecture Competition, 2013.  It proposes an itinerant soil-less agricultural infrastructure designed to drift the circulating ocean currents between Greenland and Canada, exploiting the nutrient-rich fresh water released by melting icebergs as the basis for a large-scale hydroponic-farming system. The floating facility is equipped to house a community of 800 people, inspired in its compact urban form by vertically oriented, bayside Greenlandic villages and their social, cultural and economic relationship to the sea.

The project was instigated as a response to Greenland’s agricultural dependence, requiring the importation of almost all of required fresh fruit and vegetables from its less climatically and soil-fertility challenged neighbors. The solution proposed seeks not only to provide for that need, but also a reproducible model that, in the future, could swing Greenland’s balance of trade in this sector from deficit to surplus.

The more I read about this, the more brilliant I'm convinced it is.

5307d187c07a806b0600011c_arctic-harveste

In search of a fertile landscape for a barren territory, the Arctic Harvester deploys various technical, energy and sociological strategies. Arranged in a circular form, it delivers icebergs into its central bay, from which the harvested fresh water is directed to the hydroponic farming levels, and later to the osmotic energy plant in a process that values and retains fresh water as a re-usable resource. The central bay is thus the heart of the Harvester’s agricultural process, the centre of its sustainable energy production, as well as an ice garden, offering social spaces and floating communal greenhouses for use by the inhabitants.

Section. Image Courtesy of Design Team

And when you say hydroponic you mean...?

No soil.  Just water and nutrients.

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrientsolutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlitegravelbiocharmineral woolexpanded clay pebbles or coconut husk.

Researchers discovered in the 18th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganicions in water. In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil dissolve in water, plant roots are able to absorb them. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant's water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive. Almost any terrestrial plant will grow with hydroponics. Hydroponics is also a standard technique in biology research and teaching.

That's fascinating. I read some more about it -- hydroponics actually sounds better for plants than soil!

Btw, it's very random in the pictures above that there are whales there, right?

Or do the whales serve a purpose?

I wondered also.

Could be

1. Whale for scale

2. Illustrating no cretaceans will be harmed, or

3. They're just "happy whales"

Haha. I love those answers!

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