Nile Valley Aquaponics Earns Honor Award in AIA Central States’ Excellence in Design Competition
The proposed project in Kansas City picked up an Unbuilt Architecture Honor Award in competition that considered work from five states.
Located on four abandoned residential lots in Kansas City’s disenfranchised Eastside, Nile Valley Aquaponics would establish a road map for transformational redevelopment within the city’s urban core and provide residents with year-round access to locally grown vegetables and mercury-free fish.
In honoring the project, the AIA Central States jurors noted: “This project could become a great teaching space for the community. The building components are appropriately scaled to its neighborhood context. The design and siting of its planters, market and community room welcome neighbors in to experience its vibrant teaching mission.”
Aquaponics is a gardening technique in which fish and plants grow together, modeled after the natural ecosystem. Waste from the fish feeds the plants. Nutrients from the plants filter into the water and return to the fish tank. The system can easily produce organic food by avoiding the use of any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or mercury.
HOK’s design would expand Nile Valley Aquaponic’s small existing facility to three greenhouses, allowing production to increase to more than 50,000 pounds of fish and 70,000 pounds of vegetables annually. The architecture reinforce the mission of Nile Valley Aquaponics through the use of solar and wind power generation, water reclamation and geothermal heating. Gathering spaces, including harvest tables, a community room and shaded terrace, provide neighbors space to learn.
The founder of Nile Valley Aquaponics, Dre Taylor, is in the process of fundraising to support the development.