Politecnico di Torino (logo)

Perlino, Pietro

FUTURE FARM a sustainable agri-food production building in Moncalieri.

Rel. Cesare Griffa, Enrico Fabrizio. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura per il progetto sostenibile, 2017


I've always been thinking that Graduation Thesis would have been a great opportunity to complete the course of my studies dealing with what I learnt during these years and what I would like to aspire in the next future. I tried to conciliate what I am with what I would like to be. My aim is to create a symbiotic relation between architecture, sustainable local food (production), social and educational aspects. The title "Future Farm" refers to the idea of something new and probably still conceptual, applied to one of the first kinds of building ever designed in history. In fact, the first part of the Thesis is related to how farms - and farming

have evolved from the first human settlements during Neolithic Age till the current days. If we look at the ancient times, we can notice how many tranformations have taken place and how the world is changed nowadays. Farms have grown wider and wider and the intensive production is supplanting local realities creating demages and denaturing the environment. That's the motivation why we should think about a new way to interpret agriculture, maybe having a look at the past.

The sustainable way of approaching architecture and farming is the pillar of this Thesis, so, in the second chapter, I describe sustainable methods of breeding and food production. Moreover global population is growing and agriculture already occupies a large amount of soil, so, we should also focus on some novel food and new systems of farming. Edible micro-algal biomass, mainly derived from Spirulina, is a good chance to look at the future, producing a very rich in proteins food with a lower footprint than cultivations as soybean or catlle livestocks. At the same time, a more performing production solution is a great step to a sustainable agriculture; that's why I decided to describe the aquaponics chain, where fish and vegetable help each other, growing in symbiosis.

The second part of the Thesis describes the area where the Future Farm is designed and what are the poles that compose it. The initial paragraphs show the current situation about the property in Moncalieri where the project is thought to be designed, analysing the existing rural building and the land. The Future Farm complex includes this house re-programmed thanks to a non-invasive refurbishment. This part of the project is thought to be a renewal of an ancient building giving it new lifeblood. Actually this house works properly, even if some areas are not in use, but this transformation idea is born thinking about other similar realities, in which buildings are almost abandoned. These ancient rural houses are a cultural heritage of our society and it would be a pity to let them decline, so architects should work on how to make them attractive again without destroying the countryside atmosphere. The renewal of the house consists of making some interior changings in order to have the possibility to re-use it as a productive building, so, from the three current apartments, there will be an agri-restaurant, a bed & breakfast, a local food shop and only one apartment.

In the last two chapters of the Thesis, I write about the design project of the main character of the new Farm. It ensues from a study on local farming and food culture, traditional and innovative production systems, architecture and technology. The Future Farm philosphy is born thinking how to bring together four key points: traditional farming, innovative farming, education and research. These concepts represent the incipit, the starting point to develop such a design project. Traditional farming means livestocks, crops and orchards, so, elements very connected to the land and to the ground itself. This leads to the fact that these activities should be connected to the land and the border between the inside and the outside is very thin. Innovative farming has not a very precise meaning, but it has been interpreted as a kind of farming more related with technology and developed far from fields and lands. Aquaponics cultivation

fish and vegetables - and micro-algal biomass are the answer to the innovation farming meaning. Research and education could go hand in hand, imagining new tests, new discoveries as a new way to teach people something about sustainable farming. The education model to apply is related with experience. Visitors can enjoy an innovative building experiencing the various activities, elements, animals, technologies that compose the Future Farm.

The last part of the Thesis is focused on the study of the nergy balance of the new building. The purpose is to improve the way of cooling and heating the building thanks to a good envelope stratigraphy strategy and architectural performing choices. I used an Excel spreadsheet and the software MasterClima to calculate all the essential parameters to find the real energy requirement of the Future Farm.

Relatori: Cesare Griffa, Enrico Fabrizio
Soggetti: A Architettura > AI Edifici e attrezzature per l'agricoltura
A Architettura > AO Progettazione
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura per il progetto sostenibile
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/6069



1.1 The first farming settlements during Neolithic Age

1.2 Ancient Mediterranean populations farming and innovations

1.3 Farming evolution before the Industrial Age : granges and villas

1.4 From the Industrial Revolution to the current era : the greatest turning point in farming

1.5 2000's: in a ever changing world why we need sustainable farming


2.1 General overview

2.2 Goats stable

2.3 Cheese factories

2.4 Laying hens barns

2.5 Apiculture


3.1 Micro-algae cultivation as a food producer and a potential façade typology

3.2 Spirulina production and its benefits as a food resource

3.3 Production facility design as an architectural element

3.4 Aquaponics : fish and vegetables balanced chain

3.5 How to design an high performance aquaponics system



4.1 General overview

4.2 House details and current program analysis


5.1 Future Farm project's aim / concept

5.2 The core: the existing building's transformation 5*3 _ The Farm: design proposal and program analysis

5.3 Food production and transformation


6.1 How to calculate the energy performance

6.2 Ground floor: cooling and heating



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