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Studio Gang designs agricultural education center for the New York City Housing Authority

Education Facilities

Studio Gang designs agricultural education center for the New York City Housing Authority

The $18.2 million Marlboro Agricultural Education Center will feature a working rooftop greenhouse that will serve as a learning lab.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | June 6, 2024
Studio Gang designs agricultural education center for the New York City Housing Authority. Rendering courtesy Studio Gang
Rendering courtesy Studio Gang

Earlier this month, the City of New York broke ground on the new $18.2 million Marlboro Agricultural Education Center (MAEC) at the New York City Housing Authority’s Marlboro Houses in Brooklyn. 

In line with the mission of its nonprofit operator, The Campaign Against Hunger, MAEC aims to strengthen food autonomy and security in underserved neighborhoods. MAEC will provide Marlboro Houses with diverse, community-oriented programs.

Designed by the Studio Gang and built by Consigli Construction Co., the 9,900-sf center will feature a rooftop greenhouse for raising plants and fish. The second-floor greenhouse will serve as a learning lab for schoolchildren and visitors and will help young adults engage with local, sustainable food production. On the ground floor, flexible teaching and community spaces will offer cooking and nutrition classes, among other programs. In the winter, MAEC will host an indoor market.

The building’s large windows and generous sidewalk frontage aim to strengthen connections with the surrounding neighborhood. Entrances on multiple sides create physical and visual connections to the street and surrounding area. A small public terrace and planter garden will encourage visitors to stop by.

Located in a coastal flood zone, the building will be elevated, which also will create opportunities for street furniture. The sustainable design includes passive heating and cooling, solar access, all-electric systems, and rainwater storage and reuse. The project, which targets LEED Gold certification, will use materials with minimal maintenance for a lifecycle of over 60 years. 

The MAEC project leverages a design-build project delivery method to remove lengthy contracting from the traditional delivery method that historically has been used for city capital projects, according to the City of New York’s press release. The design-build method also will shorten timelines and increase participation by minority- and women-owned businesses.

On the Building Team:
Project operator: The Campaign Against Hunger 
Design architect: Studio Gang
Design-build contractor: Consigli Construction Co. 
Landscape architect: Eponymous Practice
Structural engineer: Thornton Tomasetti 
Civil engineer: Philip Habib & Associates
Geotechnical engineer: Langan 
MEPFP: BALA Consulting Engineers
Greenhouse enclosure design: Prospiant

Rendering courtesy Studio Gang
Rendering courtesy Studio Gang 
Rendering courtesy Studio Gang
Rendering courtesy Studio Gang 
Rendering courtesy Studio Gang
Rendering courtesy Studio Gang 
Rendering courtesy Studio Gang
Rendering courtesy Studio Gang 

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