Agrotopia, a fascinating and unusual name (I suppose a crasis between "utopia" and "agricultural") is the name chosen for the new greenhouse in Roeselare, a Belgian town.
A building for urban food production was built on the agricultural market of this town. The greenhouse will be used to grow food and, at the same time, educate the public about agriculture.
A sky made of grass
The Agritopia project was led by REO Veiling, which collaborated with the Flemish Research Institute on Agriculture and Horticulture uneager. Together, the two companies have managed to build something never seen before.
We have created an ambitious building with numerous innovations. A single building characterized by different climatic zones, sustainable and economical use of space, search for leafy vegetables and fruit in the city, opening the roof to a public function, circular use of space and energy, just to name a few.
The cyclopean greenhouse of Agrotopia
The interior of the structure is divided into four climatic zones different, necessary for the cultivation of different types of fruit and vegetables. Part of the greenhouse is then dedicated to research facilities and the construction of an educational path for the public.
The Agrotopia architects have decided to place the boxes for the educational path in the warm and humid part. The favorable climate is more suitable for hosting people and all workers.
The entrance to the building has an imposing-looking facade. The alternation of glass and metal creates a perfect contrast with the market below. There Urban Horticulture Squarein fact, it is the starting point for visitors arriving from the center.
Among the main attractions, in addition to the educational path, there is also the beautiful winter garden. The sunlight that enters through the windows completely transforms the landscape. At the foot of the winter garden there are silos, which have the task of storing rainwater from the roof, used to irrigate the greenhouse.
A step towards sustainability, with a productive landscape.
Agrotopia is part of the pilot projects for the productive landscape program (PPPL), organized by the Flemish government. The general objective is to present to the public a series of innovative building projects, with a social and environmental purpose.
The managing partner of Meta Architectuurbureau, Niklaas Debutte, described Agrotopia as a test bed for large urban agriculture projects.
"Build one greenhouse on top of an existing building has never been done on this scale before. Agrotopia presented many opportunities and challenges. The integration of the steel greenhouse with the concrete substructure and complex installations resulted in a true public building with exceptional architectural quality for the city of Roeselare. "