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Urban Mushroom Farm

Part 1 Project 2012
Charlie Patterson
De Montfort University Leicester UK
Orvieto has long had a rich food culture. The 1200 caves that lie beneath the town have historically been used for the production of olive oil, wine and ceramics. Taking inspiration from the 19th Century underground mushroom caves of Paris, the project proposes an Urban Mushroom Farm that continues this tradition by producing high value gourmet mushrooms within the caves below Orvieto. These are then dried and packaged to be sold to locals, tourists and distributed nationally.

Throughout the project there has been a focus on sustainable technologies in an attempt to create a near self-sustaining process that requires as little input as possible from the community members that run it. Urban resources are exploited, such as rainwater for irrigation and coffee grounds from local cafes as a growth substrate. To take advantage of the site’s position, experimental ceramic pods harness solar gain to passively dry the mushrooms. At night the ceramic drying pods are lit from within, creating an eerie landmark amongst Orvieto’s narrow streets.

Charlie Patterson

2012
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