Pomeroy Studio

Pomeroy Studio

Singapore City, SG


Nottingham student wins Pomeroy Studio’s inagural ‘Design for a Sustainable Future Award’

By Pomeroy Studio
Oct 8, '13 10:38 PM EST

Matthew Humphreys joined Pomeroy Studio on the prestigious Design for a Sustainable Future Award for a 3-months internship.  He originates from Worcester, England, but has spent the last 5 years studying Architecture at the University of Nottingham.  He returns to the UK at the end of September to finish the final year of his Masters in Architecture where he will then be awarded RIBA Part 2 accreditation.

In his last semester, Matthew undertook the Sustainable Tall Buildings design studio where he coincidentally designed a Vertical Aquaponic Farm, on a site in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore.  The design is a prototype for a new Singaporean urban vision, which sees many of these towers scattered over the island to produce sustainable agriculture and aquaculture for the local community.

The Vertical Farm project is concerned with food sustainability and vertical agriculture within the context of Singapore. The city-state is highly dependent on imports for feeding its growing population, with 97% of all food coming from abroad, and just over 1% of the total landmass of the country being devoted to agriculture. In addition, Singaporeans consume 100,000 tonnes of fish annually, with only 4% coming from local aquaculture.

The design itself consists of an elongated tower, with the longest sides facing east-west for maximum solar exposure to promote growing. At the northern and southern ends, apartments are located for the farmers. The central parts of the tower consist of ETFE-clad atria housing aquaponic growing systems for the production of fish and food; fish in the tanks produce ammonia rich waste, too much of which is toxic so must be removed. Bacteria in the fish tanks break the ammonia down to nitrates which are taken in as food by the plants via their roots. This process filters the water as well as fertilizing the plants. Fish are then smoked in special smoking towers, the full height of the building. Structurally, the tower is lifted off the ground on large composite structural legs, which open up the ground floor interface to be used as a vibrant shaded market.

Matthew’s internship at Pomeroy Studio not only advanced his understanding in sustainable architecture, but also offered him a plethora of experiences.  He participated with Pomeroy Studio to plant 10 trees in Punggol Park for NPark’s Tree Planting event at the end of June, to commemorate the 50th year of greening Singapore.   In another recent CSR initiative in early September, Matthew also rolled up his sleeves in Batam, to dig septic tanks and prepare reinforcement bars for a home building project coordinated by Habitat for Humanity.

Prof Pomeroy, who holds a Professorship at Nottingham University, officially presented the Award to Matthew in front of an excited crowd on the evening of August 30th – at the book launch party of Prof Pomeroy’s latest book, ‘Skycourts and Skygardens: Greening the Urban Habitat’. 

Pomeroy Studio’s annual ‘Design for a Sustainable Future Award’ provides an opportunity for architectural design students to gain valuable practical experience and engage in research activity in Southeast Asia, whilst being based in Singapore.  The award’s primary mission is to promote sustainable design early in a student’s career for the benefit of the individual and the built environment.  Prof Jason Pomeroy, principal of Pomeroy Studio, and the originator of the award added: “The Studio believes that it has a responsibility to society to ‘Distl, Design and Disseminate’.  We distil the essence of past traditions and cultures in order to design for people today and to disseminate knowledge for the benefit of people tomorrow. This will help preserve and enhance the natural and built environment – a prospect we enjoy sharing with the brightest students”.

Students interested to apply for Pomeroy Studio’s 2014 Design for a Sustainable Future Award should visit for more information on the eligibility and deadline for submission.