Dezeen Magazine

Studio Gang agricultural center

Studio Gang unveils greenhouse-topped urban agricultural centre in Brooklyn

Architecture firm Studio Gang has broken ground on the Marlboro Agricultural Education Center in southern Brooklyn, USA, which will be topped with a greenhouse.

Earlier this week, New York City officials announced the beginning of construction on the Marlboro Agricultural Education Center at the Marlboro Housing Project in Gravesend on land under the authority of the public housing body the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

The 9,000 square-foot centre will add facilities for the growing of food – most noticeably in a massive gabled greenhouse that tops the entirety of the slender structure – and be operated by American NGO The Campaign Against Hunger.

The greenhouse portion will hold facilities to grow plants and cultivate fish, while the ground floor will contain a teaching kitchen and a sheltered market to operate during the city's cold winters.

Agricultural Centre Brooklyn
Studio Gang has designed an agricultural centre for Brooklyn

"We're proud to have partnered with the City of New York to design a building that empowers and provides for its neighborhood through urban agriculture," said Studio Gang founding partner Jeanne Gang.

"I am hopeful that the Marlborough Agricultural Education Center will serve as a model for how our cities can address food insecurity, promote access to healthy food, and ultimately increase equity."

The centre will be built on a strip of land that currently holds mostly parking and other infrastructure.

Renderings show a slender building with brightly coloured walls, operable glass window walls, open access from multiple sides and raised on a platform in consideration of "coastal flood events".

Inside of agricultural center
It will include greenhouses, test kitchens and classrooms

A large patio stepped down from the platform will be placed at the end of the building for gathering. The interiors will have an industrial appearance, with windows framed by exposed structural trusses, also painted orange.

The project is being mobilised through the city's Design-Build program, which allows for construction entities – in this case Consigli Construction Company – to have an active part in the design process, limiting back and forth.

According to New York mayor Eric Adams, the project is being developed to help in the unequal access to healthy food across the neighbourhoods of Brooklyn, often delineated across race and class lines.

"Whole Foods in Park Slope and junk food in Brownsville,” said Mayor Adams. "This state-of-the-art agricultural education center will help us get closer to that goal, while providing an invaluable, resilient space that will bring sustainable food, jobs, and education to this community."

Studio Gang has worked on other public projects in the city, including a building to train elite firefighters in Brooklyn.