- Sustainable Architecture
- WORKac, Edible Schoolyard P.S. 216 in New York
WORKac is a New York-based architecture firm known for its architecture and urban planning projects that address the themes of culture and the environment with vision and pragmatism. From the moment it was founded in 2003, the partners in work and in life, Dan Wood and Amale Andraos were internationally acclaimed for projects that reinvent the relations between city and nature, the future of work and of living, and between historical structures and new projects.
In particular, they focus on the sustainability aspects of each project and we are showcasing one of these, the involvement of WORKac with Edible Schoolyard NY, a founding affiliate of a project which was started by Alice Waters in Berkeley, California. The project aims to promote both urban gardening and eating habits based on healthy, organic and 0-mile food. Gravesend has one of the lowest percentages of open, green space in Brooklyn, making the Arturo Toscanini School a natural choice for the inaugural showcase Edible Schoolyard P.S. 216 in New York City.
Edible Schoolyard P.S. 216 transformed the 2000-square metre cement parking lot of the school into a thriving organic garden. To ensure a true four-seasons garden experience for the students, WORKac incorporated a greenhouse together with the indoor kitchen classroom to allow classes to continue through the winter and to teach the students how to prepare and enjoy healthy, flavourful meals with vegetables harvested from the school’s organic garden.
The project by WORKac is composed of three main parts: the greenhouse is a polycarbonate and aluminium structure. The steel-framed kitchen classroom provides space for up to thirty students. The façade of the kitchen classroom is clad in a low-cost material – cementitious shingles, which are reinterpreted as pixels to make a graphic flower pattern inspired by Venturi Scott Brown’s BEST façade. The façade also shapes the interior space through the placement of porthole windows and circular skylights at the centre of the flower design on the outside, creating a dynamic and fun atmosphere.
The “Systems Wall” at the rear is articulated as a series of playful volumes covered in a bright blue rubber coating. This condenses all of the building’s systems into one zone to make visible both site-wide and building-specific systems. The building’s shape is designed to maximise the collection of rainwater, which is harvested from the angled roof and collected in a cistern within the curved portion of the Systems Wall. Additional volumes enclose a tool shed, bathroom and air-con units.
With the Edible Schoolyard P.S. 216 in Brooklyn, WORKac shows us how you make limited resources go a long way, even beyond their immediate function, i.e. a simple school garden, opening up new horizons for a sustainable way of life to students during their school day, which is also reflected in the choice and preparation of food.
WORKac has also completed a second project for Edible Schoolyard NY, PS7 in Harlem, we will present in a couple of weeks.
Project WORKac - https://work.ac/
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Images: Iwan Baan
Find out more: https://www.edibleschoolyardnyc.org/programs/demonstration-schools/brooklyn-demonstration-school/