Yi Dazhong and Shiling Zhong
Multifarious Matter: Les Halles 2030, Robert Stuart-Smith
An urban farm is proposed for the Les Halles site, inverting the existing section to place vegetal and fruit farming up high, with public space occupying two vertical canyons and a subterranean strata sandwiched between the urban farm and urban metro subway system below. This public space is artificially lit from Led Growth Lighting that facilitates growth of plants suspended above circulation spaces. The aeroponic system enables plant roots to be visually exposed without soil providing a surreal atmosphere to these post-human spaces, further augmented by fish-breeding pools that appear as wall and floor surfaces. These affects articulate an equal importance to farming, retail, fulfilment vehicle transportation and human activities. The overall spatial and atmospheric ensemble demonstrates this co-habitation of space, with the vehicles and robots that tend the farming and retail fulfilment also forming part of the architectural design expression. The site operates as a terraced landscape field condition where spaces are defined from shifting tectonic plates, each formed from semi-cured bent concrete that is utilized as permanent formwork for in situ concrete casting. The overall organization is largely below ground due to the existing site’s already deep section.