The project explores the layering of agriculture and new residential infrastructure within an industrial site to yield a rich urban environment that mixes space for housing and leisure with urban farming, storage and distribution. New, affordable housing units are situated within elevated rigid space frames along the edges of an existing worker housing complex. The new housing is positioned at the periphery of rooftop farms which provide unexpected views that offer residents with a zone of respite from the industrial nature of the surrounding district. Farming and shading follows a diagonal pattern that responds to the solar orientation on site. The housing and adjacent market adopts a utilitarian architectural language by re-purposing storage silos as spaces for commercial activity.  A sinuous path interrupts the gridded layout and provides circulation that connects the project, eases pedestrian movement, and allows for the delivery of agriculture produce.

Architects: Uthra Vargese
Professor Jason Carlow
American University of Sharjah
Tasnim Tinawi & Uthra Varghese

The project can be defined by three very distinct programs; the housing, the farm and the marketplace. Together it provides the area with a new community for living and working. With the introduction of agriculture within the site, the project hopes to improve the physical conditions of the environment as well as provide cleaner healthier air along with an affordable source of food for the residents. The housing units themselves are also created using recyclable plastics and can be easily increased or decreased based on the demand. This low-cost housing helps resolve the existing conditions where five to eight people once share a small space designed for two.

Through architectural intervention, the project seeks to elevate the socio-economic mobility of the residents by creating an independent agricultural industry where the workers farm their own food and sell their produce in the marketplace. The proposal for providing urban farming on the rooftops of existing housing aims to create a building type that can be later incorporated to numerous similar housing areas on site.

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