The city with Europe’s largest port is turning into a bastion of floating agriculture—and disrupting the pecking order of urban food options in the process. Rotterdam, the Netherlands will soon be home to the world’s first floating chicken farm, a 3,500-square-meter (37,670-square-foot) structure designed to accommodate 7,000 hens. The design was revealed in June. Floating Farm Poultry will be part of a larger agriculture system in the Merwehaven area of the port, joining an existing US$2.9 million floating dairy farm launched by the same parent company last year.
Designed by architecture studio Goldsmith for Floating Farm Holding, both projects aim to serve up agricultural products closer to the urban shopper. As with its partner on the floating food strip, the new poultry farm will also educate. The team plans to include walkways that let visitors peer into the structure and observe operations up close.
The three-level farm will have two stories built above water and one below. The lower level will be a LED-powered cress farm, while the middle level will serve as a processing area for both the cress and the eggs from the upper level.
Up top, it’s all about the well-being of the hens. Triangular glass windows cover the holding areas, allowing natural light to flood in. Solar panels provide constant shade for the chickens—while also powering the farm. And the air system is designed to reduce poultry dust and nitrogen emissions.
It’s a new take on agriculture, architecture and urban development.
“Traditional farms are larger, mostly mono-functional, horizontal structures outside the city—all for economic reasons of course,” Goldsmith co-founder Wesley Leeman told Dezeen. “The floating poultry farm tries to achieve the opposite: to combine various functions—chickens and a cress farm with processing and packaging—in a relatively small volume, inside the city.”