van Bergen Kolpa Architecten

Greenhouse and Land

Client: Competition Prix de Rome 2000/01, Urban Design & Landscape Architecture Second Prize
Project: scenario development for 5000ha of horticultural area in the Westland
Advisor sustainability: Peter Koppert, IVAM Amsterdam
Exhibition design: Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem

'Greenhouse en Land' is a look into the future of market gardening in Westland, a large horticultural area west of The Hague. The design philosophy sees greenhouse cultivation as no longer the focal point of a marketing system but part of a production ecology. Economically one of the areas in the Netherlands with the most potential, this agricultural region is run like a business-park and is no longer soil or climate bound. Extreme urban pressure, water problems and energy shortage question the future and the continuing development of this area as it now exists. To this end the proposal constructs a series of new typologies for nursery cultivation that engage directly with the surrounding landscape, enable a high-grade production and enhance the residential and recreational qualities of the site.

Kas Centrale - Glasshouse Power Station
This design is a symbiosis of glasshouses and a small power station - a Glasshouse Power Station. The building is to stand in areas where energy crops are cultivated. These provide the power station with the fuel it requires. The Glasshouse Power Station's ecological cycle is based on generating electrical energy. A part of this electricity is used to provide the plant material with enough light to ensure its rapid growth. The residual heat produced when generating the electricity is sufficient to warm the greenhouses, creating a favourable balance of energy. Flue gases produced by the power station, such as carbon dioxide, stimulate the plant cultivation. At the same time the Glasshouse Power Station itself provides the water purification necessary for intensive crop cultivation by bringing together nitrogen oxide and the gases produced by fruit and vegetables in the top of the building. This and direct sunlight together create ozone, whose water-purifying effect is exploited to clean water pumped up from the storage basins. Grey residual water flows back into the storage basins where it is purified naturally.

Salt-marsh Nursery
Much drained land in the Netherlands is slowly becoming brackish as the water level there steadily drops, allowing salt water to percolate upwards. These brackish areas present a threat to conventional agriculture. The Salt-marsh Nursery is a form of field cultivation that answers the call for new products. These products are cultivated extensively in a brackish landscape.