In 2013 the team at Belatchew Arkitekter’s Belatchew Labs released details of an ambitious redevelopment of the Söder Torn residential high-rise in Stockholm, covering the entire façade with a new energy producing shell incorporating straws to transform the tower into an ‘urban powerplant’. Belatchew Labs has followed up this year with InsectCity and the BuzzBuilding, demonstrating an effective and sustainable alternative to protein production in Stockholm.
Rahel Belatchew Lerdell, CEO and Founder of Belatchew Arkitekter explains: “Last year we presented the urban power plant Strawscaper which received great interest throughout the world. This year we are following up with a proposal for ecosystem services in the form of InsectCity and BuzzBuilding, in order to show that cities can become self-sufficient, which is central not least to Stockholm and Sweden, with the EU’s fastest urbanisation.”
Estimations suggest that the population of Stockholm could reach 940,700 inhabitants by the year 2018 and Belatchew Labs has looked to insects as an alternative source of protein in order to meet the needs and demands of this growing population. They suggest that InsectCity and the BuzzBuilding complex does not have a negative effect on the natural environment the way that increased meat production would.
The BuzzBuilding scheme is proposed for nine roundabouts throughout the city of Stockholm, each with 10,350 sq m of farmable surface. The doughnut-shaped buildings take inspiration from the structure of an insect with a steel exoskeleton encasing the entire insect production flow from egg to end product. A restaurant will be located on the ground floor where the public can sample the insects generated on the production floor above.
Crickets would be the main insect produced on site and the process followed through from mating to hatching, maturing and harvesting. The concept also looks to provide a safe haven for endangered species of bees, enhancing the ecology of Stockholm and transforming it into a highly fertile city.