Feb '09 - Oct '09
Our entry for the Lifecycle Building Challenge
Farm to Market: A Place for Nature in the City
Our structure is an abstraction in modular design using reclaimed grain bins from regional farms. The concept of brining the farm to market is the driving force behind this design. Two main case study locations were chosen within Boston's urban landscape: Government Center and Prudential Center. The ease of assembly and structural versatility allows this design to be erected in either a linear or cluster configuration. The steel grain bins, while rural in origin, have a sleek, urban finish that writes them fluidly into the city's vernacular. With the addition of the wooden palettes and concrete rainwater purification planters and supports, the entire structure transforms into a cohesive design that connects the farm to the market.
Design Adaptability and Disassembly:
Currently, the farmers' markets in Boston are held under temporary tents placed sporadically around the city, depending on the day. In order to provide the farmers and the general public with more reliable structures and locations, this design aims to act as a more permanent pavilion that can adapt to the ever-changing urban landscape.
The importance of this design is that it can be without vendors. During the colder months it can be a shelter for bus or train passengers, and in warmer weather, it acts as a gathering place for events, a resting area, or a luncheon spot. This structure is low maintenance, easy to assemble, and durable. The converted bins are reclaimed after they have completed their “working lifespan” holding grain. The steel sheets are connected using zinc plated dichromate coated bolts. The ease of deconstruction is as apparent as the structure's simple assembly. The steel can be quickly broken down and is completely recyclable. Of course, the wooden palettes can be reused or recycled as well. The purification planters can be left intact or converted into benches. Even alone, they continue to speak to the circulatory language of the city.
The recognizable circular design of the grain bin resides completely in the roof structure. The original bins go through a transformation that flips them upside down and then calls for an angular sectional cut through. This inverted roof design is then lined with a thin solar film to harvest electricity from sunlight. The captured energy is contained until it is ready to be used for such tasks as: lighting, refrigeration, charging stations. In addition to providing the inhabitants with electricity, the roofs act as rainwater collectors for the vegetated water purification systems. Separate tubing runs vertically through the hollow concrete structural supports carrying the water and electricity. The collection planters are finished as streamlined concrete rectangles, highlighting the circulation both within the structure and along the city streets. Because the planters and the main supports are composed of concrete this structure seems to take root in its urban environment; a continuation of the pavement underfoot. The purification planters provide the opportunity for an educational center on the natural purification of rainwater.
In order to provide the farmers with a protected produce space, the recycled wooden palettes, that are often used in the very transportation of fruits and vegetables, would be suspended from the roofs along the southern elevations. This not only signifies the market's presence, but also provides shade for the vendors.
Entry Metrics per Structure:
Square footage: 8054 sq. feet of steel, 703 sq. feet of concrete, and 1500 sq. feet of wooden palettes
Steel: Reclaimed steel grain bins from regional farms 692 ft3 at a density of 800kg/m3 is equal to 17.05 tons of recycled steel
Concrete: Recycled concrete from the urban landscape 233 ft3 at a density of 2400kg/m3 is equal to 17.22 tons of recycled concrete
Wood: Recycled wooden palettes Approximately 100 palettes at 5ft x 3ft each
Miscellaneous: Regional vegetation, soil, sand, gravel, charcoal, mesh filter
Thin solar film: cost effective and an outstanding harvester of solar energy in comparison
Click on the images below for a larger view...hopefully it works...