The roof and the 6th floor of De Schilde, a former Philips factory in The Hague, was renovated to accommodate Europe's largest aquaponics rooftop farm. Urban Farmers AG, based in Basel, Switzerland, built their second rooftop farm in The Hague and commissioned Space&Matter to complete the design.
The construction consists of a 1200 sq.m of greenhouse on the rooftop and a 900 sq.m of space for fish cultivation on the floor below. Together, they form a perfect symbiotic system for fish and vegetable production within the city. Both floors also house irrigation systems, technical installations and the fish and vegetable processing rooms. A visitors' area with a rooftop terrace allows visitors to experience this spectacular building and its stunning views of the city.
The dimensions of the greenhouse are aligned to the structure and the architecture of the existing building. The typical shape of the greenhouse roofline has been retained because it is part of the strong UrbanFarmers identity and emphasises the new use of de Schilde as an urban farming hotspot. By leaving a distinct gap between the existing building and the new addition both entities can be read separately but also as a new tectonic unity. This way the architectural quality of the former 1959 telephone and television factory, designed by D. Roosenburg, is respected.
Urbanfarmers AG has already started the development of their next urban farms in Switzerland and the Netherlands; proving that De Schilde is not just a one off. It shows that they found a business model, which makes urban farming 35m above ground level feasible. But what effect does this concept have on the city? Urban farms will increase the activity in the city by utilising its unused roofs. Furthermore, it will bring food production and processing back into the city, closer to its citizens. Additionally, the Dutch roofscape will be enriched by iconic greenhouses in the near future.