The RIBA President's Medals Student Awards

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EVF: Experimental Vertical Farm
Urban Artificial Ecosystem in Santiago de Chile.

The resource natural fertile land is at risk, the abusive natural lands exploitation to farming is putting in danger food industry to next generations, and it’s showing us current agriculture exploitation is unfeasible; in this context raises an experimental proposal GVE: an architectural – territorial design action which raises unsustainable land exploitation by means of integration between 2 critical related forces:

Urban Action: use of wasted urban zones –lands generated from road junctions “clovers” along urban highways- ; changing it into useful and valuable areas to create recognizable places to link the city motorist landscape with typical functions and features of traditional urban fabric.

EVF Prototype Building: an artificial ecosystem managed into a food-producer building between minimal energy and resources consumption; forming a design which understands a building like a “living environment” which is sensitive about physical environment changes. This design forms by a vertical tower to vegetable farming which uses a minimal natural surface to create a big farming surface in different high levels. This spatial arrangement summarizes all agriculture production process from planting and maintenance until production of ready – for – consumption product and dispatch. To accomplish these objectives, all essential prototype components are basically designed from chemical and physical factors which affect vital vegetable conditions: sunlight, air flows, humidity and heat.

This actions have meaning from an integral sustainable development framework (social, economic and environmental), based on a management model which understands this project as a possible action for next 20 or 30 years taking account the current market requirements and political requirements in Chile.

Claudio Palavecino Llanos


EVF Project is a remarkable Final Term Project because it involves two major current issues: the food scarcity in the world and the use of residual urban lands. Both subjects are properly applied to Santiago city reality by means of a powerful ensemble of towers to produce hydroponical vegetables smartly placed around the highway junctions.

Claudio’s proposal provides a creative alternative throughout a dialogue between the towers within the residual areas and the large scale landscape shaped by the characteristic range of Los Andes mountains skylining the city.

Mr. Palavecino manages the architectural tools and researching with academic rigor and a very high quality design, generating an interesting process to design from complex relations between real problems, while defining a new landmark and providing an innovative expression.

Humberto Eliash
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