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Center for

Urban Agriculture

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Elaboration I Studio 48-200 Grow Collective | Uptown, Pittsburgh

Studio Professor: Mary-Lou Arscott; Coordinator: Josh Bard | Fall 2015

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One of my main objectives was to create a road through my site that would help with the traffic on Fifth Ave., a busy one way street due to the Birmingham Bridge connecting to Southside. This road allows visitors to drive onto the site and under the structure with the option of parking or continuing onto the residential Moultrie Street, turning east onto Forbes Ave.

The steep topography of the site was accentuated by creating a retaining wall growing plants in 1'x1'x1' units. This helps to mediate the amount of earth relocated within the same site to form the growing fields below, avoiding the cost of disposing of materials. The growing wall most notably serves as a focal point on the highway or from across the Monongahela River to the south that visually separates the site from the rest of the urban context.




The goal of this project was to design a building proposal for a new Center for Urban Agriculture in Pittsburgh which would serve as both a community center and a place for urban gardening. The basic programmatic requirements were to contain a teaching/outreach space, administrative offices, indoor market, equipment storage, greenhouse, material storage, fabrication space, and parking.

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The area south of the road consists of terracing fields that will grow an array of seasonal produce to encourage community exposure to natural growing methods, provide educational opportunities to learn about the agricultural processes, a hobby for the community to partake in, and more of a connection to nature within the urban context of Uptown, Pittsburgh. It also brings attention to seasonal farmers markets 


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A naturally considered factor when creating an urban agricultural center, light was prioritized during the design process with the intentions of creating an enjoyable environment for the inhabitants with exposure to natural sunlight for both the plants and people. 


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