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Vertical Agriculture

Vertical Agriculture

New Farming Paradigm for Central Valley, California

Bachelor of Architecture Thesis Project

Philip Ra, AIA
Ethen Wood, AIA
B.Arch Design Excellence Award

Located in the center of the California’s Central Valley, Fresno is well known globally for its agriculture. During the 1980’s the city had an increase in population that caused a rapid urban sprawl. Unfortunately, this expansion forced the city to re-zone a large portion of farmland in the surrounding area. Stores throughout Fresno stopped acquiring local produce and brought in outside sources to fill their shelves, causing an increase in prices that has led to a major food insecurity problem. Loss of farmland also affected poverty levels as farm workers lost jobs and were quickly unable to acquire heathy food.

The design proposes a triad program of vertical gardens, an education center, and a restaurant. Centered around the concept of farm-to-table culinary provisions, the vertical gardens will also provide employment opportunities while the education center will teach the community fundamentals in farming and proper nutrition. The Harvest will become the communal center as additional areas will host a local farmers’ market, social events below grade, and a safe environment for local kids and adults to explore.

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