“A green sign rising from the High Line to the sky”

28arc-u-2757 — VAF Vertical Agricoltural Farm

The purpose of the project is to allow the coexistence of commercial functions, residential services and agricultural productions inside the same building, integrated with the park.

Our project aims at the propostition of the principal elements of the High Line but on a vertical plan. In fact the shell of the building is formed by steel frames maintaining the proportion of the pavement, on one hand, and filtering the vision of the farm inside the building, on the other. Moreover, as the High Line is a sign on the texture of the city, our project presents a central void that serves as a light well and functions like a green public space. The building is bent in his front, in order to obtain a greater surface facing the park. The complex is developed on two blocks connected by a negative volume in which large terraces overlook with hanging gardens.

In order to guarantee the permeability between interior and exterior and to obtain the best light income inside the farm the VAF’s skin is formed by a glass curtain. Orientable earthenware obscurings are placed in the steel frames, allowing mechanical regulation of the light, in harmony with the characterizing materials of the surrounding buildings.

VAF develops on 9 floors; 3 hosting commercial excercises and services, 2 containing the farms, labs and warehouses, then 4 floors with residential function, and finally a green roof.

28arc-u-2763 — The Wheat

The project starts from the desire to demonstrate American innovation in agriculture, environmental sustainability and nutrition: the aim is to highlight the complexity and sophistication of the history of American food.

The entire complex pays tribute to the rich agricultural history of America through an open and airy design, characterized by a succession of gardens arranged in horizontal planes, which will produce fruit and vegetables; the shape of the facade is reminiscent of typical buildings of the american agricultural world, simple and functional, reminds the shape of the traditional American farm, embodies the values of openness to people, transparency and accessibility.

The crops extend over four terraces to maximize the natural light of the sun and are composed of small and medium size plants typical of the farms in the target food. Thanks to innovative technologies hydroponic agriculture is possible to grow plants directly in circuits with continuous passage of water without having to move large amounts of soil. Also being able to continuously monitor the habitat of the greenhouse as temperature and humidity, you can improve the performance even in cold seasons and double or triple the annual harvest cycles. This building will have to be self-sufficient in terms of energy and environment. Wastes and organic wastes will be reused in a composting plant buried under the structure. Rainwater collected and reused for the circuits of a plant nutrient. The west facade will be enriched by solar panels.

The vertical garden is a symbol of the rich history of American agriculture that is constantly evolving. The decoration of the façade recovers this issue and introduces a symbolic meaning: the golden ears rise into the sky in their slender harmony; they seem a jewel more than one plant, a materialization of sunlight and, in this context, they become symbol of fertility, abundance, wealth.

28arc-u-2777 — Sky Farm

Introduction — The tree of life

Halfway between earth and sky, the tree has always amazed by its size, its strong and its longevity, that make it a place where to dream or find a shelter. With roots firmly put in the ground and the branches that rise into the sky, the tree is the model on which architecture finds its primary inspiration. Crouching on a tree, the man could observ from the top what happened on the ground, like a flying bird, becoming something at the limit of the supernatural. In some cultures, tree houses represent one of the  oldest type of dwelling, pushed up against predators and tribal struggles. Many concepts that have served as inspiration for the first tree houses, are still present in their contemporary versions: from the solitude desire and the communion with nature, to the thrill of living suspended at a great height and the interest in sustainable architecture, that is fully expressed in tree wood houses, that are the icon of the “tree of life”, one of the most powerful symbol of nature.

Project idea

How to melt a tree with a vertical, rigid New York skyscraper? The city is become a forest, in which skyscrapers turn in transfigured trees, that allows all the functions connected to the activity required. The idea of the big building is replaced by the one of the “tree-machine”, that works on different levels, divided by hierarchies.


On the top of the tree there is the healty green foliage, the heart of the structure, where big greenhouses are placed on the top of a “steel trunk”,  that protect the residences underlying and absorb the required amount of sun for the right cultivation. Here, big circular surfaces of crops are closed laterally by glass , and above from a corrugated roof that has been made for conveying water in the middle.


Small and compact houses are set on branches. In this way, each house has its own autonomy, connected to the floor only by the big “steel trunk”, that is the most important node of connections. The house type is a duplex of about 40 sq completely built in wood, with two big glass windows that allow  the right lighting for the daily functions. Each house is set to a different level and is rounded opportunely for having different views. In this way the originality is encouraged, according to all the structure of the “living-machine”. For simplicity, we have designed only one module of dwelling, that should be obviously expanded or modified within.


The commercial area represents the roots of the tree that go in the ground, in the same way as the big market goes under the level of the High Line, connecting a vertical drop of 10m. All these markets are stricktly connected to the farms, selling some products grown on top in the greenhouses. The trunk structure continues inside the commercial area, creating another connection also with the way down. This part of project is very open and free, with the aim of allowing the light, and creating visual cones from level 0 of the high line to the interior. In the roots, so, is set the social part of the project, from which depart the connections and from which is born and grows the tree-machine.

28arc-u-2782 — Newyorkwood

The concept of the project is based on the simplicity of the composition: two concrete walls that support wooden beams, creating a contrast between the weight of the concrete and the lightness of the wood. To achieve a truthful idea of farm,  wood was chosen as the main character of the structure, instead of traditional materials. The strong contact with the High Line has induced us to think of a game of staggered planes and the succession of full and empty volumes, due to the thin beams which give onto the path and the compact rhythm that scans the facade. The connection with the High Line is a fundamental aspect of the project and it is made by a plane which projects outwards more than the others to join the street. This conjunction makes the access to the building direct and perfectly integrated with the footbridge. The surface destined to the farm is located in front of the High Line, in order to re-enforce the relationship between the green areas and to create an amazing sight for the passers-by. The NY sky condo is thought as a connection between the High Line and the urban surroundings, in order to create a place where natural and human environments coexist.

The building has eight floors supported by two frameworks of wooden beams, the lower one being warped with the beams perpendicular to the High Line. A modular constructive system, which recalls the traditional skyscraper design, was chosen, but it breaks the static concept based on the repetition of equal levels placed in a compact volume. This building does not have a unique identity but has two different faces: the one that looks towards the city reclaims the aesthetic taste of this part of New York, in fact it is formed by a modular sequence of glass panels embraced by two imposing concrete walls. It is on this side of the building that commercial and residential areas are placed, while the entire surface of the farm is located on the opposite side, facing the High Line. This facade interrupts the continuity of the building, since the floors are not aligned, but they stick out to empathize the relationship with the High Line. The choice of making use of structural wood, which clearly appears on this side of the building, is due to the will of enhance the lightness of this front, compared to the heaviness of the tall concrete walls and the compactness of the opposite glassed facade. Nevertheless, the modular sequence of these wooden beams provides an idea of compactness even on this side and creates and elegant scan of the levels where wood and glass alternate regularly. Furthermore, wood represent a wonderful material as well as being ecological and it perfectly relates with glass, concrete and most of all with the High Line.

This building can host so different functions ad the same time since they are well divided depending on their necessities and their closeness to the High Line. The whole area of the project is 5690 sqm, divided in 1050 sqm (18%) on ground and second floor of commercial surface, 335 sqm (5%) on first floor of services, 2015 sqm (37%) from second to seventh floor of residential area and 2289 sqm (40%) on first floor and from third to seventh floor of farm, in part closed (819 sqm) and in part completely terraced and in the open air (1470 sqm). This distinction allows to dispose the cultures on the opened part, while the closed one is reserved to the cattle breeding.

28arc-u-2785 — Hive Line

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then men would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more men.”

28arc-u-2789 — Amoenus New York

When we were children our parents told us stories about witches, wizards, houses lost in the forest. This is the first memory we had about the symbiosis between men and nature. We have defeated the villains and we kept the house. The new challenge of joining the farm with the housing functions concerned first about the idea of the future world we hope to live in. And what about an atmosphere which belongs to childhood memories?

The project arises from the fascination of experience a pristine and peaceful landscape intended as a natural and suitable place to live, to promenade and to have the opportunity to connect with the archaic constitution of each human being.