• Center for Urban Farming

    Center for Urban Farming
    brooklyn NEW YORK

    registration begins 4.11.11

    submissions due 8.22.11

    awards: US $2500 total and publication on suckerPUNCH


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    Center for Urban Farming
    As the interest and demand rises in New York City for locally grown food and the appreciation for a wealth of vegetables and plants deepens, there exists an opportunity to develop an urban agriculture for the city. Urban farming has the potential to raise city dwellers’ awareness of their food sources and increase their appreciation for agriculture and sustainable practices. In addition to providing fresh nutrient rich food, the farms will provide a wealth of new employment opportunities in the city as well as potential revenue from urban farm markets. Waste incurred by shipping food into the city will also be reduced and will allow for even fresher farm to table opportunities at the markets and restaurants.
    This open international ideas competition is for a Center for Urban Farming. This center will experiment with a small farm within New York City while also developing programs and serving as an educational hub for the promotion of urban agriculture. The facilities will house testing centers for developing means of safely and efficiently farming in the city as well as offices for staff working to develop land in the city and promote the cause. There will also be exhibition space and lecture space for events and symposia. While farming is a fundamental part of our history, to make urban agriculture succeed, technology and science will play an important role. The celebration of progress and technology should be explored in the architecture for this project. The notion of a farm should be reconsidered as its placement in a dense metropolis is quite different than its historically rural setting in the same way that the use of hydro/aeroponics and other soil remediation techniques rethink the relationship of food to the ground. There also exist important variables such as the decision to grow indoors versus outdoors or on ground level versus rooftop. In any case the land around the center’s planning and use is vital to the project as well as its relationship to the building. The farm will recycle its black water to take advantage of rainwater harvesting. The center and farm spaces should strive for an exuberance to match the exciting potential and serve as a visual landmark in the city.

    The site for the project is located adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This area was used to build ships for the US Navy, starting in 1801. The Brooklyn Navy Yard has historically embraced new and innovative technologies. Many of the early American steam ships were constructed and worked on at this yard. The site was the first place in the US that a steam powered pile driver was implemented and was also one of the first dry docks. The Niagara was the first ship to lay trans-atlantic telegraph cable from the dock of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The first song broadcast over wireless radio went out form the Dolphin when it was docked at the Yard. In 1966 the dock was closed and then bought by the city of New York to be transitioned into an industrial park. The Navy Yard currently houses diverse businesses such as movie studios, furniture manufacturers, ship repairers, architectural designers, electronics distributors and jewelers. The site is rich with history including two decades of the celebration of progressive technology and urban employment. Currently the site is used by a tow company as a place to store impounded cars, for this ideas competition the pound will be relocated leaving the site vacant.
    Site is zoned as M1-2. See for more details.


    Lobby 3000 sq ft
    Exhibition gallery 10000 sq ft
    2-Lecture halls 2500 sq ft each
    3-classrooms 1000 sq ft each
    Cafe serving food grown on site 10000 sq ft
    Offices 3000 sq ft
    Restrooms [8] 100 sq ft min each
    Conference room 1000 sq ft
    Laboratories [4] 2500 sq ft each
    Delivery Dock for receiving and shipping 2500 sq ft
    Storage 3000 sq ft
    Parking – One Space / 2000SF
    Farm space and type defined by entrant

    This is an open international ideas competition hosted by suckerPUNCH to generate progressive contemporary design ideas. There are no plans for the Urban Farm to be built at this time. The site is not owned by or affiliated with suckerPUNCH.


    robertBRACKETT (ffflourish)
    abigail COOVER (hume coover studio, suckerPUNCH)
    annaDYSON (Center for Architecture Science & Ecology)
    jose GONZALEZ (SOFTlab)
    nathan HUME (hume coover studio, suckerPUNCH)
    ronniePARSONS (studioMODE)
    mike SZIVOS (SOFTlab)
    keith VANDERSYS (PEG office of landscape + architecture)

    $2500 in prizes will be awarded and the winning designs will be published on suckerPUNCH.


    this is an open ideas competition. entrants will be required to digitally submit two [2] boards at 18” high x 24”wide and 150dpi in tiff format with the provided 5 digit code in a 1”x1” square in the lower right hand corner of each board. image requirements are as follows:
    all necessary site and floor plans to describe the project including at the minimum a ground level plan describing
    the form, integration of program and relationship to the site
    *scale is at the discretion of the entrant
    one [1] north/south section
    one [1] east/west section
    *scale is at the discretion of the entrant
    one [1] aerial view
    one [1] exterior view of the farm
    one [1] interior view
    *one rendering best describing the formal and atmospheric intent of the project must be rendered at 10” high x 13” wide and 150dpi in tiff format. this image is to be included on the boards as one of the above views.


    04 April 2011 competition launch
    13 May 2011 deadline for questions may
    16 May 2011 answers to questions will be posted on suckerPUNCH
    23 May 2011 early registration deadline
    15 August 2011 registration deadline
    22 August 2011 project submission deadline
    12 September 2011 winners will be posted on suckerPUNCH


    entrants may register by submitting payment to suckerPUNCH via paypal and contact info to once payment and contact info is received, an email will be sent containing all project documentation (including dimensioned cad plan, 3d model, aerial photo, site photos, and zoning information) and a 5 digit identification number to be placed in a 1”x1” square on the bottom right corner of each board. the submission procedure will also be outlined in this email.

    early registration fee – $35
    registration fee – $65
    please email any questions to