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Hydroponic Farm, Lincoln, UK

Part 2 Project 2004
Dorota Spychala
Lucy Rymer
University of Lincoln Lincoln UK
The project is located in a stone quarry on the boundary of Lincoln. I divided the huge area of over 38 hectares by a rigid grid of hydroponic farm greenhouses transforming an empty, deserted, almost useless place into a vibrant, dynamic and useful space. Thanks to the rainwater harvested on the site it now feeds plants in the greenhouses and supplies buildings within the quarry. My intention was not only to change the site into commercially variable agricultural farm but also to open it for small groups of visitors and for students’ research. I developed the architectural language from patterns observed in the ironstone and limestone walls within the quarry. Redrawing from photographs cracks in or between stones and then experimenting with physical models resulted in buildings that are cutting across lines of ETFE covered greenhouses and carving out from their mass spaces for the visitor centre, water treatment plant, retention ponds, water storage tanks and platforms. Strips of landscape between greenhouses create a system of paths allowing for inner transport. The stone from the quarry is used in three gradients as limestoneand ironstone gravel, slabs and gabions. Project unites industrial/agricultural, educational and scientific character of the hydroponic farm serving as a living laboratory.

Dorota Spychala
Lucy Rymer

The project is based in a disused quarry site on the outskirts of Lincoln. The proposal aims to reclaim the land and proposes the development of a commercially run hydroponics farm (hydroponics is a greenhouse-intensive method of crop production using nutrient-rich saline solutions). The scheme incorporates a Visitor’s Centre and a small research facility. The project’s architectural language is derived from the intense observational process applied to the strata and fissures of the landscape. This relied upon the development and manipulation of sophisticated computer models and the production of numerous physical models.
Elegant linear greenhouses that respond to the site’s existing undulations define the resultant scheme. The rigid grid of greenhouses creates a surreal artificial landscape. These exist in counterpoint to the main fissure-like thoroughfare that is the organisational core of the project.
The thoroughfare and it’s associated spaces where ‘excavated’ from the mass of greenhouses. It defines the route of visitor progression through the scheme and provides for visitor interaction with varied landscapes, retention pools, strawberry fields and an artificial beach. The scheme is underpinned by rigorous research into issues of sustainability, the potential reuse of excavated site material and the recycling potential of material components.


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