This project was designed in full collaboration with David Leven and Stella Betts of LevenBetts.
MicroGreens is a living garden in the city. MicroGreens is a small city amidst a garden. MicroGreens makes small spaces productive. MicroGreens produces a big community from a series of very small spaces. MicroGreens is based on the idea that if one is given access to outdoor space, a garden, lots of light and fresh air, then a micro apartment can feel luxurious and delightful. MicroGreens is comprised of 56 micro garden apartments, a communal vertical green house, a communal outdoor roof garden, a large communal kitchen, a communal living space, a communal laundry, and a communal bike use + storage facility. Commercial space suitable for café, small restaurant, greenmarket, or other retail uses is available at street level facing both Mt. Carmel Place and the 27th Street pedestrian walkway. Each floor of the apartment building and all residents have access to the vertical greenhouse where one can grow plants and vegetables throughout the year. A commercial farm and urban agriculture consultant, with a working farm on the waterfront at the Navy Yard, was chosen to consult and provide expertise related to the planting and harvesting of these agricultural features. Functionally and sustainable, this vertical green house also acts as a thermal chimney for the building and provides cross ventilation for the common hallway on the north façade. At the roof of the building, each resident has access to an outdoor garden. Each resident has their own micro balcony which contains a 36” x 15” planter box for growing vegetables and small trees. These balconies provide shade to the south and west-facing units, decreasing heating load on the structure. In its social groupings, use of passive and mechanical technologies, well supported green methodologies at the building and unit scales, MicroGreens reconfigures the typology of the housing building into a green collective that extends out to the community and enhances its immediate environment.