The Commonwealth of Chelsea: Locality & Society

Comprehensive Studio - Savannah College of Art and Design

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The city of New York is oftentimes referred to as the capital of the world. All of the amenities one could dream of, readily available to all of the inhabitants of the Big Apple, thus making it one of the most desirable places on the globe. This however, adversely affects the city as a whole. With the major increase in population and density, the demand for food steadily increases, as well as the need for additional housing.

The aim of this project is to meet the needs of all mentioned above. This is to be achieved through the implementation of two main entities, the vertical urban farm and housing units, integrated into a single, multi-use mid-rise, adjacent to the High Line within the neighborhood of Chelsea. The interaction between both entities
allows for a symbiotic relationship between the separate environments, all within the same building enclosure, alluding to much healthier lifestyles and living environments. On the lower levels, the program is structured to foster the idea of a community, opening up the space to more social interactions, essentially creating
an access point to the High Line as well as a destination for various shopping and communal activities.

Project Defined
​Deriving the form from the environment, both micro and macro, the exterior skin responds to external stimuli, while the interior responds to the programmatic requirements set forth in the spirit of community and society.Through the implementation of this project, the neighborhood of Chelsea gains not only a new source of food and additional, much needed housing, but they also gain a more defined community and a new destination for not only the inhabitants, but for the surrounding community as well.
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Unit & Community Development
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Farm & Environmental Systems

The farm system in this building remains a separate controlled environment, differentiated from the other programmatic elements for many reasons, most pertinent of which being of a pragmatic nature. The environment is controlled through an automated system, which adjusts the environment through radiant heating and
cooling methods and the implementation of operable panel systems on the top and bottom of the farm enclosure. The farm itself consists of multiple levels of hydraulic conveyor system hydroponic racks, making use of whatever natural light available from the western side of the farm, making up the deficit in light with
controlled UV lighting systems.

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Farm Skin

Construction Assemblies

Structurally, the building is composed of a hybridized structural configuration. The largest portion of the structure pertaining to residential and social elements remains constructed from two-way flat plate construction in order to achieve the desired flexibility in terms of layouts attributed and derived from the open floor plans, in
addition to matching the popular industrial chic aesthetic. As for the farming system, the construction is comprised of structural steel members and framing for ease of installation and fastening of the exoskeletal farm skin and enclosure system, supported and suspended by the perimeter truss system located on the top floor of the
building structure.

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