The Salad Bar featured in the 2004 Year of the Built Environment Future Gardens exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. The exhibition demonstrated how environmental sustainability could be practically incorporated into contemporary living.
The idea was born out of a brief that called for lateral thinking within the context of sustainability and the urban garden. Ideas such as; water sensitive urban design, recycling, biodiversity and productive gardens were put on the design table to be re-interpreted and re-arranged in new ways that would find a more harmonious balance between more compact forms of human habitation and the ecosystems that support it.
Turf Design Studio developed the Salad Bar based on the following criteria:
- Self Sufficiency
- Reduced living environments
- Contemporary living
- Water recycling
The Salad Bar provides a modular vertical growing structure with a smaller footprint to the generic garden enabling it to occupy small spaces with the same square meter surface coverage. By integrating a bar within the vegetated wall provides a playful vision of how self-sufficiency can be incorporated into modern urban living.
While a wide variety of plant species could potentially be grown on a vertical face, vegetables were chosen to engage issues of human sustenance. The supermarket is our modern vegetable patch and the home garden is an underutilised resource. The Salad Bar has reimagined the veggie patch in a way that can be inserted back into modern gardens and reduce reliance on agricultural practices outside the city.
Collected water is stored in a central reservoir at the base of the wall. It is then reticulated by pumps into a drip irrigation system that feeds into soil pillows within each growing module. By recycling harvested rainwater, the Salad Bar helps conserve this most precious resource.
Beyond its current form, the Salad Bar can be advanced as an integral part of our future urban environments, including residential, commercial and architectural applications.
With vertical gardens the sky really is the limit.