Productive Vacancy (2014)
Openness in cities is at times a blessing and at others a curse. Open land with support is beauty, is park space, is where a city can dream. In East Garfield Park there is an incredible potential in its nearly 50% vacant land, the potential to great a uniquely green district in the city. Incidentally it is a neighborhood that in 2014 had 2 businesses in its square mile of land, neither of which are a supermarket, effectively making it a food desert.
Instead of developing a neighborhood in buildings AgriLab would be a single building, something between a community center and a laboratory, which would encourage the community to gather and transform the community. Trusting all the land to the park district would protect it from future building and partnering with the Garfield Park Conservatory would jump start a different kind of conservatory. One not dedicated to sequestered beauty but to open and productive beauty.
Design wise the headquarter pulls on warehouses and factories many of which were removed from the area by the near by highway. Its roof profile allows light in when its metal paneled walls would otherwise deny it.