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Carla Bonilla & Yi Lu

Design Description

This project studies the program of the greenhouse and the urban eatery as a way to reintroduce and reconnect the growing and consumption process, and as an opportunity to study the aesthetic relationship between the organic and the synthetic. “Living Thresholds” is grid matrix that contains a series of planters, holding an indoor farming facility, as well as botanical gardens. This planter matrix not only serves as structure to hold a large variety of planters, but also as the larger architectural structure that holds a series of bubbles with restaurants facilities within them. This grid allows the vegetation to take over the restaurant facilities and exterior facades at times, blurring the thresholds between interiority and exteriority, as well between the program of greenhouse and urban eatery. Its envelope and formal expression also speaks of this ambiguous aesthetic in-between the organic and the synthetic. The vegetation, bleeding through the facade, creates a mossy surface on the concrete at the bottom of the structure, and pieces of pink metal mesh conceal windows. The concrete gradually disperses into shingles towards the top of the building mass, completing the monolithic quality of the building while adding a textural quality building envelope. This facility’s exteriority becomes piece of landscape at times, changing with the seasons, and an architectural monolith at others.

How will your design encourage more people or cities to grow trees?

"Living Thresholds" creates a new architectural experience that allows people to appreciate the beauty that is in the indoor growing process. Creating new and interesting architectural relationships between it and the urban experience will allow people to gain a new appreciation and perspective on our relationship with nature and the consumption process.

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