SILO CITY IS A DESIGN VISION TO REIMAGINE AND TRANSFORM the largest collection of grain elevators in the world. STUDIO V’s design combines creative radical adaptive reuse, contemporary architecture, and innovative remediation gardens throughout and over 1 million square feet of ruined industrial buildings in Buffalo, NY. The project integrates an extraordinary range of cultural, residential, institutional, commercial, and recreational uses.
Next to downtown Buffalo along the winding Buffalo River, Silo City comprises ten massive concrete grain elevator complexes interconnected with warehouses, mills, and malt-houses. The design breathes life into this iconic collection of structures that inspired the 20th century giants of modern architecture, including Le Corbusier, Mendelsohn, and Gropius. Silo City combines artistic and physical culture. Galleries, art gardens, and performance spaces are combined with an elevated natatorium with cascading pools and a suspended velodrome. Flexible mill and malt houses are redesigned as maker spaces, business incubators, and residences while smaller buildings and sheds are converted to the Lyceum studies center, Duende, a bar featuring performances, and an artist hotel.
Jay Valgora, founder of STUDIO V, describes their vision: “Silo City’s windowless cylindrical voids are transformed into top-lit art galleries and multi-level swimming pools cascading from one level to the next.”
The mutable design offers temporal phases that constantly overlap: Ruins, Gardens, Passages, and City. Silo Ruins offers organic programs encouraging access: concerts, exhibitions, tours, and events. Silo Gardens offers a green “nursery” of interventions to sustain, enhance, and expand the programming, including infrastructure and landscape, green spaces, and amenities. Silo Passage reinvents existing bridges and conveyors by adding new staircases, escalators, and rooftop gardens to provide a “sky path” overlooking the horizon of Lake Erie. Silo City engages and integrates the entire campus with overlapping galleries, artist housing, arts hotel, affordable housing, and culture spaces.