Grand Rapids, Michigan
Via Chicago has teamed-up with Square Roots as their architectural partner to help guide the design and implementation of an aggressive nationwide expansion over the next 5 years. Together with Gordon Food Service, Square Roots plans to roll-out a new hydroponic farm “cluster” that combines 5 growing units with a shared support module. By leveraging GFS’ existing distribution - and real estate - network, these farm clusters will bring premium quality, pesticide-free, non-GMO produce to urban centers where traditional agriculture isn’t an option. This rapid growth will require careful planning from an architectural standpoint, in order to meet the goal of a seamless and rapid deployment across multiple states and Canada.
Not content to merely play large-scale Tetris that results in a lifeless campus, Via Chicago is exploring how to create a real urban destination with these farm containers. A network of courtyards will help balance the logistical needs of day-to-day farmers, delivery vehicles, and curious visitors.