GOLDSMITH Architects have recently completed The Floating Farm Dairy in Rotterdam, a compact stacked structure that merges agricultural processing and production installations in a single entity.
Floating Farm Dairy Technical Information
- Architects: GOLDSMITH.COMPANY
- Location: Merwehaven, Rotterdam, Netherlands
- Material: Translucent polycarbonate
- Client/initiator: Floating Farm Holding BV
- Typology: Floating Building / Farm
- Scale: 3 stories
- Gross Built Area: 2000 m2
- Completion Year: 2019
- Drawings: © GOLDSMITH Architects
- Photographs: © Ruben Dario Kleimeer
The Farm produces, processes and distributes dairy products in the city, close to its consumers. It brings producer and consumer closer together, adds to shorter supply chains and awareness of city residents.
– GOLDSMITH Architects
Floating Farm Dairy Photographs
Article by GOLDSMITH Architects
Through the process of scale enlargement, and the automation of activities, the harbor of Rotterdam shifts to the west of the city, and the border between harbor and city shifts accordingly. Consequently, the decline of traditional trade activities makes room for residential – and other urban developments. The harbor economy with its corresponding trading dynamics is disappearing from the basins; the original contrast between the relatively calm residential landscape and the lively center point for trade is revolving 180 degrees; the basins of the Merwehaven threaten to become open and empty spaces in a densifying urban landscape of the Merwe-Vierhaven (M4H) area. With the Floating Farm Dairy these beautiful, but slowly orphaned spaces, find meaning in a rapidly changing environment through the introduction of urban farming. Former privately owned, fenced docks become public areas for city dwellers. In this sense the building is a public pioneer in a formerly inaccessible area of the city, bringing a new type of industry; one based on sustainable principles.
The Farm produces, processes and distributes dairy products in the city, close to its consumers. It brings producer and consumer closer together, adds to shorter supply chains and awareness of city residents. Urban waste flows are upgraded from residual products to valuable ingredients cow feed. Brewer’s grains, potato scraps and grass clippings from the Feyenoord football stadium are all part of the menu. This adds to urban recycling and constitutes a fairly efficient form of food production. The Floating Farm Dairy is the first step to subsequently planned ‘Foodstrip’ in which a wider range of food production will be represented.
The design is, in essence, an agricultural building based on nautical principles. The organization, structural principles and use of materials are used to enhance the buoyancy and stability. The result is a stacked organization that places all heavy structural – and technical components in the submerged part of the building. All significant and transparent functions are situated in a lightweight structure on top. The result is a 3-layered façade ranging from concrete to translucent polycarbonate to entirely open.
The Floating Farm Dairy is a compact and logically stacked structure that merges technical installations, storage, processing and production in a singular entity. Three connected concrete pontoons house the production of fruits (ingredients for yogurt), rain- and wastewater recycling and additional installations. On the upper factory floor combines milk and yogurt processing, feeding system, manure handling, and retail. The covered cow garden will house 40 cows that will be supported by a manure cleaning robot and a milking robot along with various elements regarding animal welfare like the centrally placed ‘green columns’ that ensure cooling. The cantilevering floors and roof address the multi-level agricultural hub and articulate its architecture.
The two galleries around the cow garden – vertically connected via two steel bridges – string together various evocative spaces to make an educational route. Along this route, visitors gain insight into all activities in the Farm without disturbing the business process. Feeding fences around the cow garden and glass walls around the dairy processing facilitate the sensory experience of visitors and underline the transparent character of the company. Feeding-, dairy-, and manure processing are all organized to a compact and efficient logistic system that makes this unique multi-level program possible.
Project Floor Plan
About GOLDSMITH Architects
GOLDSMITH office is located in Rotterdam and is lead by Klaas Van Der Molen and Wesley Leeman. The studio operates within the boundaries of architecture and urbanism. They aim for simple but significant solutions solving complex spatial issues in the most direct and efficient manner.