Agrotopia rooftop greenhouse Roeselare

New-build greenhouse with 9,500 m2 research centre and visitor facilities on an existing warehouse roof

With the rooftop greenhouse Agrotopia, META architectuurbureau (BE) and van Bergen Kolpa Architecten (NL) have delivered Europe’s largest public building dedicated to urban food production, a commission from the Flemish research institute for agriculture and horticulture, Inagro, and REO Veiling.

Agrotopia was constructed on the roof of the REO Veiling headquarters: the logistic heart of West Flanders for fruit and vegetables. With a spectacular view across the expansive landscape and the city, urban horticulture atop industrial rooftops is afforded a prominent place in Roeselare’s skyline.

In the 9,500 m2 building, high-tech research facilities for the cultivation of fruit and leafy vegetables are surrounded by an educational trail for the general public.

Agrotopia is a proud, transparent sculpture of steel and glass, which underscores both its agricultural and its public function. To this end, the architecture is composed of a slender greenhouse construction that stands out against the sky and rests on the concrete base of the crate sheds.

The entrance, with a broad ascending staircase, leads to the urban horticulture square in the heart of the building where the visitor facilities are located. A double-height greenhouse for innovative vertical cultivation can be found in the façade greenhouse along the ring road. The foot of the latter stores the rainwater from the roof, which is then used to irrigate the crops.