Adapting the Community Garden Model to Vertical Urban Landscapes

Cotey Anderegg, B.Arch 2020

Advisors: Dana Cupkova
                   Vivian Loftness
                   Steve Lee
SUPERIMPOSED LANDSCAPES looks to adapt the community gardening model into a form that can be modularly implemented in 5-8 story apartment buildings (50-100 units) common in Brooklyn’s residential neighborhoods. This system is supported within a structural frame that hangs from the top of the building, storing and filtering rainwater and supporting greenery on a fine scrim of wire. On the apartment scale residents can utilize a kit of prefabricated enclosure elements and growing systems to allow it to be infilled according to the microclimatic conditions around the building.

While this project does hope to offer an opportunity for user driven design by creating a kit of parts that could be assembled according to needs and microclimatic affordances, it will not be looking in depth at the ownership agreements, construction permitting and financial logistics of such a proposal beyond rudimentary cost and installation estimates. While these are all important considerations, the scope of this project lies more in the design, detailing and implementation over time. This is also not a case for the use of urban farming and community agriculture as a tool for urban revitalization. There are numerous other research projects and case studies for these potentials, and while this work acknowledges that potential the Scaffold Project will be looking more at the building scale rather than the larger urban condition.

The project will be based off an underlying framework, with several infill units that can transform something merely performative into something that has the potential to be a beautiful, productive, and healthy addition to the building, and the neighborhood overall. It will involve a look at relevant precedent to identify key features and proven systems for structure, enclosure, and growing, along with analysing the productive crop potential using various food plants and at differing light levels. This information will inform the design of the system for this specific building (135 Clarkson) as well as provide a tool for the future assessment of other building locations. Methods will include research into case studies, urban farming techniques and historical context, as well as the development of details, prototypes and simulations to determine feasibility and performance of design iterations.