Have you heard of the annual competition the magazine eVolo hosts for the best skyscraper concepts? If not, you might want to check it out, as this year’s first place winner is the Mashambas skyscraper, which is a vertical farm tower made to feed entire towns in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The skyscraper was designed by Polish architects Pawel Lipiński and Mateusz Frankowski. The upper floors are for growing produce, with provided fertilizer and seeds. The middle floors having spaces for kindergarten classrooms, doctor’s offices, and a docking area for drones to deliver food to remote areas. Finally, the ground floor is dedicated to an open-air market where farmers could sell their crops.
Also, the tower would be partly modular, allowing it to be disassembled and then transported to other areas in need of it.
“The main objective of the project is to bring this green revolution to the poorest people” writes Lipiński and Frankowski. “Giving training, fertilizer, and seeds to the small farmers can give them an opportunity to produce as much produce per acre as huge modern farms.”
The name “Mashambas” comes from the Swahili word that means “cultivated land”, which reflects upon its goal to increase agricultural opportunities and fight hunger in areas in Africa that are struck by poverty.
“When farmers improve their harvests, they pull themselves out of poverty. They also start producing surplus food for their neighbors. When farmers prosper, they eradicate poverty and hunger in their communities,” they add.
“Today hunger and poverty may be only African matter, but the world’s population will likely reach nine billion by 2050. Scientists warn that this would result in global food shortage. Africa’s fertile farmland could not only feed its own growing population, it could also feed the whole world.”
Their winning design was announced on the 10th of April and won against 400 other entries. While the designers wish to have the first tower to be built in a town south of the Sahara desert, it still remains a concept, and there are no plans to build it. Still, it’s quite an interesting piece, and it explores what rural farms of the future could look like.