An Infrastructure Add-on for Urban Farming
Academic Project • Spring 2023 • Individual Work
Master of Architecture Thesis • ARCH 204B | Instructor: James Leng, Simon Schleicher
Site: Manhattan Bridge, New York City, New York, USA
What would happen if New York, a city that imports 85% of its goods, decided to become more resilient and invested in local food production...
This project is a hypothesis about the shape of infrastructure in the context of Manhattan's urban expansion. The function is an urban agricultural production site to cope with the food shortages during the pandemic caused by the food industry's reliance on long-distance transport. This project, while thinking about how to bring agricultural practices closer to the city, tries to find the most suitable site for this vision. Especially for Manhattan, where every inch of land is gold, this vision, which requires a huge volume, cannot conflict with the real estate resources that are already forced to develop vertically toward the sky.
Luckily, the geographical isolation of Manhattan by the water system has also spawned a large number of bridges, a new mega-ground capable of deconstructing land-value injustices rendered on the city, , and connects food production directly to the urban transportation network. The river and the bridge, as an infrastructure of connection, will become the site of the new agro-industry.
The site is the Manhattan Bridge, one of New York's most famous landmarks— a suspension bridge that crosses the East River, connecting Lower Manhattan with Downtown Brooklyn. This project wishes to add an additional layer of functionality and meaning to this magnificent structure so that it can serve the city on both sides, not only as a transportation infrastructure, but also as an agricultural infrastructure.
The newly added structure completes the Manhattan Bridge in the skyline as a regular rectangle, differentiated from the light and transparent appearance of the bridge itself by the dense structure and vegetation, creating a figure-ground relationship and highlighting the Manhattan Bridge.