Urban Vertical Mushroom Farms at ARCAM Food and Architecture Fair – 1st place Jury selection

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Jacques Abelman/groundcondition in collaboration with Marijke Bruinsma/de Stuurlui stedenbouw

This projects aims to capture a part of the urban waste stream in the form of used coffee grounds and transform it into food— delicious oyster mushrooms.

At the same time, the project aims to makes the process of recuperation, transformation, and harvesting visible by locating it in public space.

Our point of departure was the fact that Amsterdam has over 4000 cafes, hotels, and restaurants that generate around 20,000 kilos of coffee grounds every day.  The spent coffee is normally mixed with other trash and landfilled.

Mushrooms are such efficient biological machines— 100% bio-efficient according to mycologist Paul Stamets— that a quarter of the mass of the used coffee becomes mushrooms. The end product of growth, besides the protein rich oysters, is a rich humus that’s a sort of super-compost.

Our idea is to partner with restaurants and cafes in central Amsterdam and use the many narrow, protected, and shaded alleys or stegen to site our vertical mushroom tubes. Our intention is also to beautify the space, and make ignored and underutilized alleys in to magical, mysterious, and nutritional destinations.

We showed the prototype at the “Appetizing Architecture” / ARCAM Food and Architecture Fair and were selected as winners from among eight finalist projects.

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