Ultimate partnership between architecture and agriculture

Laureate Steel Construction Competition 2022

Steel is a perfect solution to today's building challenges!

With our project Agrotopia, a high-tech & advanced research centre , we were chosen as laureate in category D - industrial buildings. In this roof greenhouse, innovative and practice-oriented research towards greenhouse horticulture and professional urban farming is carried out.


Agrotopia - Deforche - laureaat staalbouwwedstrijd 2022

An exemplary densification of an agricultural research centre, an urban garden - building square.
This greenhouse construction is a one-to-one solution; what you see is what you get.
By curving the greenhouse roofs as faceted facades, in two directions, a fascinating image is
- The jury.

On top of the roof of the existing crate shed of the REO Veiling in Roeselare, Agrotopia arose, a 9500 m² greenhouse structure that combines high-tech research facilities for growing fruit and leafy vegetables with educational visitor functions.

Building a steel greenhouse structure on the roof of a concrete building: it sounds simpler than it is. For example, a height difference had to be accommodated, as the existing crate shed had a sloping roof (30-40 cm on a 20 m plane).  This was solved by means of a raised floor, unique in a greenhouse construction.

Agrotopia is a light, transparent sculpture in steel and glass, fulfilling both an agricultural and a public function. Indeed, the research facilities are lined with an educational walkway for interested visitors, including a central meeting plaza. 

It is mainly the cantilevered front and rear of the slender conservatory structure that catch the eye. At the tail of the building, a forecourt with a monumental entrance staircase is provided. The latter is 11 m high and seems to float as it rests on 11 slender columns. The greenhouse roofs there extend vertically over the faceted curtain wall, forming transparent bay windows.
The roof greenhouse consists mainly of light trusses with box sections and columns. Only the vertical greenhouse has IPE400 columns. The box columns of the low greenhouse consist of S235- and S275- steel and the IPE columns in the high greenhouse of S235-steel. For the lattice girders, which consist of RHS 80x50, we chose S235- and S355-steel

Picture Filip Dujardin 

Agrotopia - Deforche - laureaat staalbouwwedstrijd 2022

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