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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

HyperLocal Community for Global Applications in Brooklyn, New York, USA / Worldwide by HTDSTUDIO

March 4th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

This community prototype calls for a targeted approach to true sustainability and a cost effective model as key residential, commercial, cultural and institutional components reside on the same one block site. It is a de-facto return to the true, urban planning model (at least from a practical standpoint) that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th Centuries. This model proved most sensible where most goods and services were locally provided to the neighborhood. The advantage is that residents would have essential elements of their neighborhood within walking distance of less than one city block; in this case the study is in the Gowanus – Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Post-Industrial land can be developed as an ‘all-in-one’ community where residents with growing families have educational, commercial and cultural outlets at their disposal; additionally, a working farm is there to not only provide fresh, local produce to the area residents, but also to sell on the open market to supplement operating costs for the entire development; this also helps to decrease the need for fossil fuels.

South Entry with Roofarm - Courtesy of HTDSTUDIO

  • Architect: HTDSTUDIO
  • Name of the project: Hyperlocal Community for Global Applications
  • Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA / Worldwide
  • Client: Mayor’s Office for Long Term Planning + Sustainability / EPA
  • Total Floor Area: 600,000 sq ft / 55,740 m2
  • Budget: Withheld
  • Year: 2007

View of west complex entry - Courtesy of HTDSTUDIO

Programmatics and building massing

Often seen as pragmatic and mutually beneficial for all income level residents, at it’s core, the entire neighborhood benefits from parity of housing, education and services.

View of farmers market - Courtesy of HTDSTUDIO

RooFarm™ Layout / Location Plan

Food is becoming increasingly expensive globally as it is connected to the spiraling cost of oil; this is a model that aims to considerably reduce this burdensome dynamic while anticipating the need to reduce carbon emissions as well as the use of pesticides, additives, etc. as prevalent in the produce sector. The undulating design of the roof structure is composed of a diagonal grid which not only reduces the amount of materials required for its construction, but also enables the process of rainwater capture and filtering that is stored in several cisterns on the site for crop irrigation, and supplemental gray water systems. Vegetables, flowers and other staples would be grown within individual sectors of the roof structure, arranged according to sun exposures and traditional gardening techniques. Community composting will be implemented through specific food waste recycling.

Crop and Garden Layout

13th Street South Entry

A canopy constructed of recycled and reclaimed materials, including steel, various timbers and grass/woods (bamboo). Additionally, serving as the upper roof level for community gardening (the bulk of local produce) it provides exposures for several solar panel arrays, as well as a phalanx of vertical axis wind turbines that produce supplemental power to residential, community and commercial enclosures. It is accessible by way of exterior stairs and several secure elevators and the main southeast ‘hillclimb’ and tiered garden.

View of skyzebo - Courtesy of HTDSTUDIO

2nd Avenue West Entry

Now more than ever, a cost-effective element of ‘new’ construction that is a plentiful resource globally giving this concept a broader viability around the world. The unitized containers can be configured and fitted by fabricators and then delivered and ‘installed’ on site at a fraction of traditional construction time. This results in a substantial cost offset with regard to initial site development, and construction costs, as well as a reduction in CO2 production.

Siteplan base final - Courtesy of HTDSTUDIO

Public Theatre

Created as a multi-use performance space that can provide creative opportunities for local area youth. It can also collaborate with the Children’s School, area not-for-profits and corporations in partnerships to promote diverse, creative excellence.

View of public theater - Courtesy of HTDSTUDIO

Green Town Square

In addition to the RooFarm™ component, there are many varieties of local plants and foliage to filter and cleanse contaminated air and ground water over time.

Green Town Square - Courtesy of HTDSTUDIO

Building Massing


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Categories: Commercial Building, Cultural Center, Educational and Business Center, Residential

One Response to “HyperLocal Community for Global Applications in Brooklyn, New York, USA / Worldwide by HTDSTUDIO”

  1. HTDSTUDIO says:

    HTDSTUDIO's Commonthread Featured on AECCafe Showcase

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