Farmed Services

The site is located in the Columbia district of downtown San Diego. It is sandwiched between two large commercial office buildings, One America Plaza and Emerald Plaza. In the near future with more people working from home and a transformation of the job market these buildings current program will become obsolete. With a planned population growth to reach 150,000 residents in 2050 within the urban center, these new San Diegans will need a place to live. 


 In regards to sustainability and with limited resources in the future the adaptive re-use of the two commercial buildings to become residential, hotel, commercial, retail, parking, and transient use is the solution. These buildings can be easily gutted out, hardwired with smart systems, grey water plumbing for water recycling, and performative devices to foster a more efficient way of living. In between these two buildings is vacant vertical space that will serve as the data server bank for the smart systems, and filtration of the reclaimed grey water. A vertical farm will be implemented upon the existing parking structure while the 500 hotel and hostel above the Armed Services YMCA will gain more transient room types above its current facility.


  The urban high rise farm combines politically different elements; farmers (producers) and San Diegans (consumers) through farming, housing, transient housing, hotels, and market places. By mixing these classes a new diversification occurs in an otherwise bland community. Through the buildings ecology of production and consumption, the building creates a variance of densities and collections of people, ultimately bringing together different social and cultural groups to create new urban experiences that form and dissipate within the constant flux of city life. 


 The project embraces collective agriculture, air pollutant purification, data server cooling heat exchange, grey water reuse, and solar energy. At night UV lights, charged from the amount of solar exposure during the day, will continue the reaction of the air purification facade and become a glowing indigo beacon, a symbol for cleansing and sustainability, culture, and interaction. Every curve and extension of the buildings mass is defined by a series of interrelated environmental considerations; day lighting preservation, solar exposure, wind harnessing, connected systems, and passivity. 


‘Farmed services’ is an exploration exercise aimed at taking full advantage of a transitional district. A new breed of building type and city dweller is created, the nomadic worker, one who moves throughout the city tending to its food production needs and facilitating a better and local production and consumption model for living.