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Hydroponic Laboratory

Part 2 Project 2003
Farooq Sabir
Shapur Keshvari
Manchester School of Architecture Manchester UK
Studies into insect anatomy and site biology inform the design of a hydroponic laboratory, which is inserted into the landscape as an ephemeral and biodegradable structure. The laboratory seeks to investigate alternative methods of cultivating food, utilising the science of hydroponics, as a potential solution to feeding a growing global populus. The experimental nature of the laboratory is reflected in both its form, as its programme and occupancy. Giant organic pods behave as cultivation chambers, artificially optimised to aid the growth of the hydroponic blooms. Their soft membranous surface allows for rainwater to be harvested, facilitating both the synthesis of energy and its supply to the ponic fields.
Farooq Sabir
Shapur Keshvari

The generator for this project is the idea of 'niche' particularly from an ecological point of view. Evolutionary ecology describes a 'fit' between 'animal' and its 'environment', each describing the other, as a basis for the development of propositions of ecology, and Farooq has extended this idea to the 'fit' between building and site. This is the crux of a bioclimatic view of architecture.

The proposition becomes more complex when a generic, almost self-replicating brief is to be answered - a global solution for a locality - and this too allows parallels to develop with ideas of the universality of 'fit' between parasites and their hosts and viruses and their carriers.

Farooq's solution is daring and fully developed technologically, and the solution, like our own mitochondria contains remnants of past infections.

Dr Alexandra Stara
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