An unused space has been repurposed as a multifunctional community area, bringing GrowNYC’s fresh food markets, recycling resource locations, and local garden support under one roof.
GrowNYC, a sustainability-focused nonprofit, commissioned ORE Design to create the community events center and learning space, located near Union Square in Manhattan. Dubbed Farmhouse, the center includes a classroom forum, educational kitchen, and conference center. The rooms can be combined to operate as a fundraising venue.
Suspended acoustic baffles made from recycled water bottles translate the traditional geometry of the American farmhouse into an abstract ceiling motif that guides visitors throughout the environment. Reflective solar tubes illuminate a feature wall. An existing mechanical shaft in the center of the room was turned into a mirrored jewel box for a vertical hydroponic wall. The educational kitchen and large storage closets were built below an existing fire stair to create an additional projection surface. The result is a modern building with hints of classic American farmhouse architecture.