Economic difficulties are forcing a rethink. "Food is the envoy of our countryside" and "shapes cities", says architect Carolyn Steel (Hungry City, 2008). Food and environment are intimately linked.
Bio fuels (energy sources grown from sustainable organic material) are taking over the land we need to grow our food. It is increasingly difficult to buy food sourced locally and harvested a short journey from the point of sale. How do we change things?
Architects now have to consider how we feed our cities, how we use the critical space around and on top of our home (see roof terraces) and how we use our rivers. It has become our remit to evaluate each piece of outdoor space and, for instance, to change flowerbeds to edible crops (carrot tops look lovely), to absorb rainwater into our driveways and to provide waste recycling facilities in our kitchens and yards. Food and terrain are now recognised as elements of architecture, and farms must rethink how they distribute food.
Doddington Farm Shop is pictured here. MJA advised on the redevelopment of farm buildings in this highly successful and profitable scheme. The model shows the paths linking the shop, café, kitchens and the Elizabethan barn. We are now designing a second farm shop at the Three Pigeons site at Milton Common, near Oxford.