The recently completed UF002 De Schilde, a 12,916-square-foot greenhouse sitting atop a former Philips factory in The Hague, can claim the title largest urban rooftop farm in Europe. Nicknamed the "Times Square of Urban Agriculture" because of its prime downtown location, De Schilde has the capacity to grow 45 tons of vegetables and raise 19 tons of fresh fish every year.
De Schilde is the brainchild of UrbanFarmers, a Zurich-based company looking to scale sustainable, aquaponics-based farming techniques in cities. The group won a 2012 bid for urban farming initiatives in The Hague and were awarded the De Schilde rooftop space in 2013. After raising more than $3.1 million in financing, the renovations began. UrbanFarmers commissioned Amsterdam firm Space and Matter to conceive of a design for the farm.
The De Schilde building was designed in the 1950s by modernist architect Dirk Roosenburg (Rem Koolhaas' grandfather), who aimed to facilitate vertical production techniques in the new factory. Today, the building has not only the new greenhouse, but also a 4,000-square-foot indoor fish farm for the cultivation of freshwater fish.
UrbanFarmers isn't about to rest on their laurels. The company has just announced that it will be expanding into North America with 10 rooftop farms planned for the East Coast.