The Boatanic (boat + botanic) is a novel concept that combines existing know-how to create an unprecedented solution for growing food within the inner city. Its aim is to reduce the environmental impact of our food which, today, still has to travel large distances before it hits our plates.
The concept is to simply convert discarded tourist boats into floating greenhouses as these are ideally suited due to their large glass windows. The idea dawned on Damian O’Sullivan as he was walking around Amsterdam and realised that the typical tourist boat actually resembled a greenhouse. ‘What if you replaced tourists with thyme or tomatoes?’ he asked himself…the Boatanic was born!
The name is also a tongue-in-cheek allusion to the Titanic and can as such be seen as a veiled reference to the environmental danger we are faced with.
The Boatanic will offer fresh year-round seasonal herbs, fruit and vegetables. These will be sold directly from the quay and also delivered by bike to restaurants (wholesale) as well as in the form of monthly subscription baskets (retail).
The Boatanic also intends to engender a return to the commercial exploitation of the inner-city waterways which have all but been lost in the last century as we turned away from them in favour of road transportation.
The Boatanic is ideally suited for cities with inner-city waterways, a rich gourmet culture and a climate that is neither too hot nor too cold. We aim to have a pilot up and running in Amsterdam by 2011 and would then look toward expanding to other cities in Europe and North America.
In short, the Boatanic will reduce the food-miles to food-at-your-feet!
The Boatanic will feature as part of a group exhibition at Fort Asperen (NL) until September 2010. Other designers include Arnout Visser and Christien Meindersma.