Urban Agriculture Center

Larimer, Pittsburgh PA

[Professor Josh Bard with Jeff King]

Exterior Summer Daytime Render

Exterior Winter Nighttime Render

A hypothetical project designing a shared resource for the community of Larimer in Pittsburgh by transforming a vacant lot in the post-industrial city into an urban grow center. The center had to incorporate a teaching kitchen outreach space, an indoor/outdoor market, a greenhouse and an equipment storage/staging component. This design responds to the vacancy of the context by aiming to maintain the productivity of the center year round by having a moving market and transforming garden to greenhouse. The transformation encourages community involvement and investment.

Fransktown Avenue Summer Sectional Perspective 

Putnam Street Summer Sectional Perspective 

Plan and Site Plan Diagram showing studies of context and inspiration of forms

For the final review, a rough animation was helpful in explaining the seasonal shifting architecture concept to the guest critics.

  1. First, it shows the material program organization of the built structure on the corner site.
  2. Then the rails slide down the center of the site, framed by the brick program components that frame the E/W sides of the site.
  3. The large, ground level garden plot slides back into its southern exposed space in the back of the site along the rails.
  4. Next, the steel structure market with rooftop garden slides back under the grand atrium structure.
  5. Zooming in, the idea of the moving market is demonstrated. The community gets together and a couple members bring their trucks to connect them to the structure of the market which then slides along the rails, extending out to the streets edge for the winter months. 
  6. Lastly, community members push the back garden plot into the grand atrium space, making it the new greenhouse for the winter months. This accommodates for the smaller product yield in the winter and greater need for indoor social space for a community center.