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Grow A Lot

The Grow A Lot project activates vacant urban land with greenhouses that provide produce to communities with less access to fresh food. A design-forward intervention that brings value not only through its productive nature, the project also enriches its site via engaging, inviting architecture that is communicative.

A prototype greenhouse for East New York (Brooklyn) takes advantage of a City-owned lot slated for housing development, but currently lying vacant due to the low unit yield on developing small sites, and the high costs of brownfield clean-up. A structure that can be assembled quickly, the greenhouse will provide an extended growing season for fresh, hydroponically-grown local produce.

The design pairs a semi-custom lenticular, billboard-like facade with a kit-of-parts greenhouse structure. Used in tandem, these two elements can address many different site configurations in various urban fabrics. The lenticular fins provide the project's signage and draw in passers-by while allowing the transparent building skin and outdoor areas to remain protected without the use of unattractive barriers.

In addition to fresh food, the greenhouses provide a curated learning experience for nearby schools, as well as community members who will receive on-site job training. Initially developed as part of New York Sun Works' larger "Greenhouse Project," and in support of Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation's Verde initiatives, the ideas behind this project are now extended for further implementation in cities across the US.