Last September, we attended MoMA’s PS 1 Open Studio event to catch a glimpse of the collaborative projects of five multidisciplinary teams focusing on how to re-think, re-organize and re-energize the concept of an American suburb in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. When we visited, the teams were in the final stages of their designs and preparing to send their visions to the Museum of Modern Art for the exhibition “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. One of the team’s we talked with was WORK Architecture Company about their Nature-City proposal, an extension of the suburb whichhas been designed in an abstracted way to serve as a plug in model to create cities elsewhere. More about Nature-City after the break.
Nature-City builds upon WORKac’s strength in ecological urbanism as the proposal questioned “What if we could live sustainably AND close to nature? ” Encouraged by team member Eric W. Sanderson, a Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, WORKac incorporated publicly accessible nature, ecological infrastructure, sky gardens, urban farms and large swaths of natural habitats, from an oak savanna and wetlands to a Doug Fir forest.
We were amazed by WORKac’s awesome model during the Open Studio exhibit – an elaborate 1:250 model with amazing detail that truly depicted the “richly imaginative quality of this new type of place to live and work.” “In Nature-City, your house generates power, cleans water, composts food or grows mushrooms. You can live, work, can food, rock- climb and walk to the movies all in the same day. You can live in a tower of houses, or on a hilly roof-top pond. In Nature-City, your backyard is nature, and you can afford it” WORKac explains in the exhibition. The exhibition in the Robert Menschel Architecture and Design Gallery will run from February 15th – July 30th.