During the last 2 centuries we became disconnected from our food. For thousands of years, people, their food and cities were intertwined. The beginning of farming gave birth to our first permanent settlements and both grew, hand in hand, with the demand for more food and more livable areas.
With the industrial revolution this changed. Advances in transportation and preservation made it possible to deliver goods faster and store them longer. The process of growing food moved out of our sights and out of our minds.
Since then, agriculture and architecture battle for territory and resources. The need for growth and the greed for profitability brought our natural habitat to the brink of existence. The building and the agriculture sector are the two largest polluting industries and each day, 90% of the world’s population breathes polluted air. Both sectors became harmful to us. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and lung cancer are an outcome of a one-sided diet and an unhealthy environment.
But food and shelter are human needs and architects can rethink their relation. There is an opportunity to reconnect architecture and agriculture and change them to the betterment of both.
“I think we miss this physical and mental connection with nature and this project could be a catalyst to reconnect ourselves with the life-cycle of our environment,” says Chris Precht.
His wife and partner Fei Precht adds: ”Our motivation for ‘the Farmhouse’ is personal. 2 years ago we relocated our office from the centre of Beijing to the mountains of Austria. We live and work now off the grid and try to be as self-sufficient as somehow possible. We grow most of the food ourselves and get the rest from neighboring farmers. We have now a very different relation to food. A tomato from your garden tastes different then the one shipped around the globe. We are aware that this life-style is not an option for everyone, so we try to develop projects, that brings food back to cities.”