A 2,000sqm rooftop car park in Melbourne is being turned into sustainable urban oasis. Dubbed Skyfarm, the space will serve as a rooftop farm with sustainable and contemporary dining, environmental education and conference spaces.
Located in Melbourne’s Seafarer’s precinct, Melbourne Skyfarm will directly overlook the Yarra River across to the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre.
The site is expected to host thousands of school students annually, who will participate in immersive education experiences in sustainable living and nature protection. Thousands more visitors are expected to undertake farm tours, enjoy workshops, visit the café or attend events. The site will demonstrate how to grow fresh produce and incorporate nature into city spaces, whilst using greenery to help cool the urban environment.
“Melbourne Skyfarm represents a fundamental shift in what it means to do business in this day and age,” says Melbourne Skyfarm director and Odonata chair, Nigel Sharp.
“It is a bold and exciting step towards a future where nature in cities is the norm. A world where businesses seek to not only minimise their impact on the environment, but actually seek to generate good. It is a demonstration of how nature, people and our economy can thrive together and provides a much-needed platform in the inner-city for interaction, education and story-telling about the wonders of nature.”
Advanced urban rooftop farm, rooftop orchard and beekeeping
Melbourne Skyfarm will feature an innovative, water-efficient, pop-up farming system designed and manufactured in Melbourne by urban farming company Biofilta. The low maintenance Biofilta urban farming system has been judged as internationally innovative, and is low maintenance, soil based, self watering, ergonomic and can be assembled within days. The farm will grow over five tonnes of fresh produce per annum, with a large proportion of produce being donated to Melbourne food charities as well as being used on the menu of the Melbourne Skyfarm cafe. The farm will also incorporate a rooftop orchard and working bee hives.
Environmental education centre and design hub
Melbourne SkyFarm will feature high-tech classrooms and a design hub, providing a platform for educating primary, secondary and tertiary students, community groups, businesses and future leaders about the environment, the challenges it is facing and the rapidly growing field of sustainable solutions to these challenges.
Melbourne Skyfarm will showcase advanced sustainability features on site, demonstrating and educating students about a range of best practice initiatives including passive solar design, renewable energy, urban greening, zero emissions buildings, carbon neutral transport, zero waste living, urban farming, rainwater harvesting, closed loop cities and urban biodiversity. The Melbourne Skyfarm design hub will also provide a space for designers, innovators and students to interact in the design of sustainable, nature-friendly cities and communities.
The space will allow students and visitors to use videoconferencing to connect with environmental leaders and innovative projects worldwide, as well as virtually visit large scale nature restoration projects around Australia.
Cafe and event space
Melbourne Skyfarm will feature a 90 seat licensed café and elevated terrace, inspired by the iconic Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm in New York. Skyfarm will feature a range of public and hireable spaces for events, exhibitions, meetings, conferences and celebrations. The hospitality venues of Melbourne Skyfarm will champion the best practices in food production from around Australia including sustainable and regenerative farming, ethical food production, low-waste hospitality techniques, and native ingredient use. Melbourne Skyfarm will also champion sustainable, local food and wine from the Greater Melbourne and Victorian regions.