Urban farming in Brooklyn, New York: 596 acres

Brooklyn is one of the five biggest districts of New York: More than 2,5 million people live here. The city of New York owns thousands of slivers of unused land, and about a year ago, a group of Brooklyn gardeners had an idea: identify all the vacant lots in the borough, then help neighborhood residents take them over.

They built an online map, then a mobile app with information about the plots, including the names and phone numbers of the agencies that owned them. They called themselves “596 ACRES”, after the total area of unused public land in Brooklyn, according to city data 2010. If even a small portion of that was committed to neighborhood food production, there would be an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables to eat. And think of all the grassy parks and composting sites!

For further information: 596acres.org

 

Building for vertical garden cities

Some of their structures remind us of bold visions of the future, in which plants reclaim nature for themselves. WOHA realize the permeation of buildings and landscape, of interiors and exteriors in projects such as the Singapore School of the Arts and the seminal residential high-rise “The Met” in Bangkok, which received the International Highrise Award 2010.

WOHA is represented by Richard Hassell and Mun Summ Wong as directors of the architectural office based in Singapore. They made their name in Asia in the late 1990s with open, single-family dwellings suitable for the tropics. Today they mainly design high-rises and large structures: a mega residential park in India, office and hotel towers in Singapore that lend a new, vertical dimension to green landscapes. Air-conditioning is merely an additional feature for these open structures, because the building structure itself provides the cooling. Natural lighting is standard, solar modules harvest energy for use in the buildings; water for domestic purposes and rainwater are reused.

Topics such as creating value added through communal areas and permeability for climate and nature will be presented in WOHA’s first monographic exhibition using examples of open tropical family homes, green high-rises and projects still in the completion phase. The exhibition showcases 19 of WOHA’s most important projects in digital images and models, project texts, large-format photos and plans.

 

WOHA – Breathing Architecture
2 December 2011 – 29 April 2012 at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), Frankfurt am Main

Further information:
dam-online.de
woha-architects.com