Moyo Waterfront Restaurant and Urban Farm [Big Picture]

Architecture meets agriculture in this new development by tsai design studio, with the full cycle of food on display from preparation to plate.

The Moyo Souk & Restaurant at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is not just another African-themed restaurant.

Rather it is a space that considers food in the urban environment, explains architect Y Tsai who was responsible for the design of the restaurant. Seamlessly combining restaurant and market elements, with an urban farm of site, Moyo tells the story of food in its full spectrum.

The restaurant is the major tourist destination with over 23 million visitors per year that is located at the V&A waterfront on Cape Town’s historic working harbor.

The aim of the project is to tell a story through food and the full cycle it goes through, from preparation to plate. The theatrical display of food in all its stages informs the overall layout; starting with produce growth, the trading of it as a commodity, the culinary experience of cooking and preparation, consumption and finally as organic waste that can be used as fertilizer, completing the cycle.

The concept of the Moyo Restaurant and Urban Farm is to showcase sustainable design and technology.  The market stalls consist of a cluster of prefabricated, flexible modular units that can be adapted to each tenant’s requirements. Arranged around the main arcade, their formation creates small intimate streets, like that of a traditional African souk.

Tsai explains that the “food tech stuff” is brought to front of house as aesthetically pleasing elements.

The structure raises a large cross-shaped solar panel array that powers the systems below, from the water pumps in the aquaponic system to the lights in the restaurant.

The aquaponic farm features several large raised pools full of Tilapia and other fish. The fish faeces are broken down by microbes and ‘enriches’ the water with nutrients. The water from these fish tanks is pumped up small tubes and used to nourish the vegetables with nutrient-rich water. The water is ‘cleaned’ by plants before being fed back into the fish tank. This creates a truly sustainable way of growing healthy vegetables.

The result is a fully sustainable, solar-powered farm and market that raises both fish and vegetables in the most effective, clean and waste-free system available to modern science.

NSE’s PV solar panels create direct current (“DC”) when the sun shines on them. All the appliances in the moyo kitchen and food market use alternating current (“AC”). An inverter is used to convert DC to AC for use in the African street food market.

The PV solar panels are north facing and set at an angle of 26° to maximise the direct sun shine in winter and summer. The average production of energy is closely monitored and produces roughly 98 kWh per day. These panels are situated above the main seating area of the restaurant and on hot sunny days, they will provide shade for the patrons, reports the NSE.

Through a low maintenance ecosystem the story of food is demonstrated to patrons, while raising awareness about organic food sourcing. The treatment of food waste is a key concern at Moyo, where the coffee waste, for example, is used as fertilizer for growing mushrooms.

Visitors can dine on produce and proteins raised on site, as well as locally-sourced goods and regional favorites.  In total, it’s a brilliant way to educate a consumer while providing them with the fruits of this very smart, very futuristic labor, says the Coolist.

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