The Carnery

year 4 project 2


Formed as carne                                       +              suffix -ery
(from the Latin carnis for meat)                                (where something is made)

The Carnery is a response to one of our society's greatest environmental issues, the production of meat. It is a vision of the near future in which meat is produced in harmony with the environment, in an urban setting. In order to achieve this it utilises a new technology known as Cultured Meat.

As a research, education and production facility for cultured meat, the Carnery aims to pave the way for mainstream acceptance and use of the technology. It takes visitors on a journey through its processes, reconnecting the consumer with the source of their meat.

Cultured Meat

Lab-grown, cultured meat provides a solution for producing meat without animals. By growing only edible muscle tissue, cultured meat reduces waste and improves resource efficiency. It therefore has the potential to meet rising demand, whilst dramatically reducing the environmental footprint. All that is required from an animal is a stem cell sample - and in theory, one sample could feed the world.

Muscle stem cells are harvested from the desired animal and suspended on a scaffold within an algae based nutrient solution. Growth is stimulated through changes in temperature and PH - this causes the muscle fibres to expand and contract, essentially exercising them. The muscle fibres are then harvested and can be made into a mince meat product. An enhanced process could, in the future, produce larger muscle fibres or steaks, once a method for distributing nutrients within the muscle fibres is found. 





The location of the project is Dorchester, the county town of Dorset, in the far south west of the UK. The Dorchester Market site was chosen due to its suitability on three levels: its central location, heritage and large unconstrained south facing aspect.

The site is located in central Dorchester along a civic spine linking all of the most prominent features of the town. Locating the project on this spine maximises its public exposure. This also showcases the plausibility of producing meat within cities, something that will become increasingly important due to the rapid urbanisation occurring worldwide.

The site was once the largest livestock market in the south of England, yet today has shrunk to a mere flea market. The Carnery will return the site to its heritage, celebrating its history whilst looking to the future.


Environmental Systems

All resources required for cultured meat production and building functionality will be produced on-site. The Carnery will utilise a virtuous cycle - reusing waste products to fuel itself. 

The growth of algae occurs through photosynthesis, requiring carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, whilst the growth of meat occurs through respiration, requiring oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. These processes will therefore feed each other in a closed system. An aquaponic vertical farm will produce vegetables and fish for the restaurant, as well as acting as community allotments. Excess algae will be used to produce bio-fuel for delivery vans and will be used alongside organic waste in an anaerobic digester to produce hot water and electricity. Electricity production will be supplemented with solar PVs, and any excess will be stored in batteries or fed to the grid. Rainwater will be collected and naturally filtered onsite. 

The Scheme

The Carnery sits between the country house and the machine as a typological hybrid. It is both a home for a new era of farming, and a functioning machine for the production of meat.

Site Response


The Visitor Journey

Research into the consumer acceptance of cultured meat has shown that the most common first reaction is one of hesitation, and in many cases, disgust, due to an ‘unnatural’ perception. Even so, most opinions quickly change once fully informed of the process and the numerous environmental and health benefits it will have, leading to 43% of participants saying they would ‘surely try it’ and 51% claiming to ‘maybe want to try it’.

The Carnery therefore does not immediately confront the visitor with the restaurant and burger bar. Instead, it takes the visitor on a journey through the process before finally ending at the restaurant - by which point the visitor is more likely to try the meat.

1. The Meat Museum
Learn about the human relationship to meat through history and the shocking facts associated with livestock production today. 
2. Walkway through the Algae Orchard
Explore a landscape of glass tanks filled with luminescent algae micro-organisms. A wild-flower meadow flourishes between the tanks and reed beds filter rainwater collected on-site.
3. Entrance Hall
Get a first glimpse of the meat reactors high above and look out over the power plant below.
4. The Research Viewing Deck
See across into the research labs from a viewing deck suspended within the central atrium.
5. Meat Production Level
Walk by the cell bank and 3D printers, then pass closely by the meat reactors, and finally reach the meat mincers.
6. Tasting Level
Visit the butcher where robotic arms stitch muscle fibres, and order a first taste of cultured meat at the Burger Bar.
7. Restaurant and Terrace
Appreciate the process as a whole and feel secure in the origins of the meat you are tasting.


Detail Design