Marvel Food Factory
- Sandra Mansilla Hsyu
- Swinburne University of Technology
Marvel Food Factory: The transformation of an existing Stadium in Melbourne CBD into an active public realm to bring people up to the water and to give back to the environment with urban agriculture and a circular economy driven strategy.
In our cities, exist large pieces of infrastructure with privileged localization and potential to make greater contributions. This is the case of the Marvel Stadium, which has some clear potentials to become the Marvel Food Factory -capable of producing 400 tons of food per week. Not only for local consumers but also a broader context becoming a Factory of small factories. However, exporting food is not the only potential the site may have. If we provide the space to support small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs who export intangible goods, the site might host another key facility: the e-Gate Services Factory
The environment’s positive impact is achieved by using the discarded shipping containers from Port Melbourne as farming modules to embrace the idea of circular metabolism – the waste from that part of the City becomes a source of food.
Also, the project attempts to stop the current Government trend of selling public lands to private by creating an immediate precinct that gives people a place to live, work and skill up.
The reactivation of the whole urban fabric of the surrounding areas will be imminent and the transformation of the edge of one of the major gateways to the city, achieved.
A deck over rails constitutes the main access to Marvel Factory. The precinct attack plan was to generate a journey of experiences from the moment when a visitor arrives. The large area was broken down into smaller ‘neighbourhoods’, having each of those its own character and specific programme that promotes social inclusion: sports, entertainment, learning, arts and, of course, the Melbournian Coffee Culture.
The innovative part of this project is the invitation to re-think the role of big pieces of infrastructure, located in the middle of the urban fabric, to face one of the biggest challenges of this century: food scarcity. Places like this can become large food production centres through urban farming, which at the same time are catalysers of civic life.
There are three different ways to deliver food to consumers: direct pick-up by having the experience of coming to the place, to see what\’s going on, enjoy the view to the water, exercising in the park, have a coffee and collect their own food. All in the same place. For massive production, the Marvel Factory will use the \’Food freights\’ from Southern Cross Station, and the \’Food Ferries\’ in the Harbour (both connected underground). The Factory not only can produce food but also can make new modules – new small food factories – to be sent to other cities. In conclusion, it is noticeable the importance of the strategic location in terms of a productive centre, but also its capability to make meaningful contributions to celebrate city life.