New York Sky Condo

Can a building provide appropriate balance between food production and residential functions?

New York City’s urban configuration links to the underlying Cartesian street grid: the framework in which all activities happen in NYC. The proposal takes this Cartesian street grid as its main starting point.
First, an area of Manhattan is isolated —the “game board”— covering a sector of 11 x 11 boxes. Due to the twofold function of the project, a diaphragm is established to separate the board into two areas. The vertical farm area appears to be the result of the negative extrusion of that metaphoric 11 x 11 game board to the west side of the diaphragm.
The residential area is formed by a positive extrusion mechanism: from the ground level each box acquires a value (1, 2 or 3) creating a bumpy surface in the East side of the diaphragm as an analogy of the varied skyline of New York City.

The farm side aligns with the High Line Park to the West, while the residential faces 10th Avenue in the East.

The residential area is interrupted by the farm in one point by the farm laboratory, while the vertical farm does so by the residential community area. In addition, the building is also interrupted by an urban connection between the street level and the High Line Park. These connections cause three voids in the architectural game board, conceived as privileged viewpoints for the different users of the building.
Since the whole project is conceived as two different natures meeting each other, the diaphragm that divides them represents the limit and the connection between them as well.
Photo Credit: AWR

Space configuration
Because of the very different spatial configuration of both sides, the vertical partitions change from one side to the other of the diaphragm: The residential side needs more vertical partitions for privacy, natural lighting and ventilation requirements. On the other hand, the farm side requires high, open and illuminated spaces.
The main interconnection between the two functions happens in the access corridors between the dwellings: they are permeable passageways running along the farm without interrupting the crop work in progress. Moreover, the farm at the other side of the diaphragm largely influences the housing design: the crops extend over the private terraces allowing individual farming plots inside the domestic space.

The architectural design features several energy efficiency systems: solar power, wind power, water harvesting and a natural lighting system. The harnessing of natural resources, innovative design and the goal to integrate farming activities in an urban context creates a creative architectural typology that explores new ways of sustainable growth that will be useful for metropolis in the years to come.

City: New York City, USA
Year: 2015
Type: Competition
Status: Proposal
Client: Architecture Workshop in Rome
Program area: 11,500 m2
Budget: Undisclosed
Service: Architecture
Sector: Residential
Architects: Latitude Architectural Group
Principal Architect: Manuel N. Zornoza
Team (A~Z): Lucia Bravo Guinea, Jorge Cortes de Castro, Andrea Ramos Rodriguez
Online featurings:
World Architecture News, 2015.06.18
Aeccafe, 2015.05.28
Sina, 2015.05.28
ID China, 2015.05.27