Case Study: Large Aquaponics Greenhouse

In the plans shown, you can see that a path leads visitors from a welcome area with information boards, on a pathway between the trees, that leads to a central area with a coconut palm, bananas and bench seating. 

If visitors turn right, they can enter the cafe area, where they can eat and drink surrounded by fragrant and beautiful flowers and herbs. Near the cafe, recycling bins and a compost area at the heart of a keyhole bed serve a practical function and also provide inspiration for guests to go greener. 

From the bench at the heart of the plan, visitors can see a grand staircase leading up to a platform high above. Behind this staircase, is a huge waterfall. This is not just an attractive feature, but also part of the water circulation of an aquaponics system. The waterfall flows down behind the central platform of the stairs. Some of the water should flow into an irrigation system for the planting areas on the ground floor. Some comes out into a large fish pond. 

To the sides, the walls above and coming down from the stairs are green walls – lush and packed with vibrant, living green plants. You can look straight up from here, past hanging vines, to see the dome at the centre of the structure. 

Visitors can then follow the path between the keyhole bed area, and the pond. In the keyhole bed, a wide range of edible crops should be planted. I suggested including plenty of fruit bushes, fruiting canes, and other perennial fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers along this section. 

Reaching the other end of the structure, visitors will pass the toilet, and find themselves in a shop, where they can grow produce grown on site. Passing through the shop, they will find the restaurant reception, (With the kitchen opposite) and be able to double back and dine in peace and tranquillity beneath the shade of citrus trees. Trees will be planted alongside companion crops that will aid their growth, and also a range of culinary herbs. 

Upstairs, visitors will find two seating areas, and be able to examine the aquaponics system. A raised bed around the edges of the inside of the platform would be filled with vining/trailing plants that can hang down into the space below.

I have included planting towers, media beds and compost based wicking beds in the scheme, as this will allow a wide range of crops to be grown. Just some of the fruits and vegetables that can be grown in an aquaponics system such as this one include – lettuce and other leafy greens, beans, peas, brassicas, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cucurbits, and, in the wicking beds, potatoes and root crops like carrots, beetroot etc..

As usual, I don’t include all details of my designs. But if there is anything you would like to know more about in this, or any of my other designs, please do get in touch.

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