RAI Amtrium's vertical greenhouse wins Vernufteling 2015 award

The vertical greenhouse city farming in the Amtrium, Amsterdam RAI’s new exhibition and convention building, was presented with the Vernufteling 2015 award by Ed Nijpels on Thursday 18 March 2015. The award is an initiative by the Dutch association for engineers and engineering students (KIVI) and the Dutch association of consulting engineers.

The jury was particularly impressed by the way the building reflects a new perspective on urban construction in the 21st century and the way that the RAI’s ideas are enabling abstract concepts to be translated into concrete form. The restaurant of the new building will shortly be serving meals containing fresh vegetables and herbs grown in its own greenhouse. The Amtrium will be taken into use in May.

The design team, which includes Amsterdam RAI, Benthem Crouwel Architects and Nelissen ingenieursbureau, have embraced this idea and translated it into an integrated design whole. According to the jury: “The societal value, the future-oriented vision and the fact that Amsterdam RAI has had the courage to be the first company to realise such a design, combined with technical features such as the humidification with rain water, controlled ventilation and plant growth, have led us to award the Amtrium the Vernufteling award.”

Ingenious benefits
The city farming greenhouse will contribute to the air quality in the building as part of a new form of urban agriculture which is unique in the Netherlands and gives visitors to the building and local vicinity a new way of identifying with food cultivation. In addition, this ingenious greenhouse will provide the restaurant with genuinely fresh products and a range of other practical benefits.

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