Our team

Our diverse team is mainly studying the master's degree in Metropolitan Analysis, Design and Engineering (MADE), a joint degree from Wageningen and TU Delft at the AMS Institute. We also have several members from Wageningen University and TU Delft from the programs Urban Environmental Management and Plant Technology in Wageningen and Architecture in Delft.

Our strengths

Our team has a strong emphasis on challenging the status quo by combining our diverse backgrounds to find innovations in every detail. We do this through collaborative design, using knowledge from all our domains.

Our drive

We are driven by the need for more resilient and sustainable food systems. Climate change and increasing urban populations increase the pressure on agricultural systems to provide adequate food. Therefore, as a team, we want to be part of providing ideas through real-world innovation. We strongly believe in being part of a community that brings innovations, technologies, and theories learned throughout our academic careers together to solve a challenge like this one. This drives us to envision resilient urban agriculture systems by connecting resource streams, cutting edge technologies, society and tradition to shape a healthy and sustainable future.

What we want to achieve

We aim to create resilient urban agriculture systems by connecting resource streams, cutting edge technologies, society and tradition to shape a healthy and sustainable future.

What are the main starting points of our concept?

The Turtle creates a resilient urban agriculture system by connecting resource streams, cutting edge technologies, society and tradition to shape a healthy and sustainable future. Our design is developed around three main themes:

(1) The Turtle rethinks the future by incorporating elements of Chinese tradition into its design and function. Innovation is found in the crop cultivation processes, education, energy supply and architectural choices.

(2) The Turtle strives to be a bridge between cultures, practices and societies. More than just a building, The Turtle is a platform for various exchanges. Citizens learn from researchers, businesses collaborate with researchers and the elderly and the young blend in together.

(3) The Turtle provides citizens with open spaces, Living Labs and social spaces to improve physical and mental health. Moreover, The Turtle seeks total transparency of its food process and scientific activity. A dialogue between researchers, citizens and business collaborations enables this.

What are the main functions of our building?

The five key functions of our design are tailored towards Dongguan’s societal context. The core business of The Turtle is the production of local and safe food. In our seasonal greenhouse we use innovative systems to produce and research crops. The second key function of The Turtle is the green power plant, making The Turtle circular by producing energy and fertilizer. The third key function of The Turtle is our research institute that will provide trustworthiness to customers and ensure the most efficient and exemplary crop production system. The fourth function of our building is the interaction between the world of science and business, facilitated by The Turtle’s Green Business Hub. High-tech innovation and knowledge will benefit the community through the Living Lab program. Finally, the fifth key function is community participation in which citizens have the opportunity to actively engage in agriculture processes and participate in co-creation.

What are the unique selling points of our concept?

Authority on food safety: Our crop cultivation system provides nutritious and safe food for everyone. With our multi-season vertical farm, we aim to provide out-of-season crops all the time, locally and fresh, without pesticides. This provides an excellent research opportunity to develop a resilient agricultural system.

Energy production from waste: The greenhouse incorporates a green power plant which turns green waste into energy and fertilizer. Moreover, The Turtle is designed for optimal (re)use of resources. Several systems have been developed to ensure that all offered activities run smoothly.

Community integration: The Turtle will be a meeting place for researchers and companies from all over the world while also functioning as a space where children, students and locals come together. The Turtle is designed to co-create and cooperate between all layers of society in order to provide everyone with a chance of living a healthy and happy urban life.

Artist impressions of the facade and the building



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Team info

Tearlach Barden
Lauri Schippers
Roberto Carlos Marquez Estrada
Titus Venverloo
Annie Berendsen
Hanna Winters
Eleonora Thierry
Yuanyuan Yin
Nicolas Carvajal Ordonez
Merel Schonagen
Jens Slagter