Parsons The New School for Design in New York City is best known as playing host to Bravo’s Project Runway and being the home turf of the inimitable Tim Gunn. In the world of fashion, Parsons has bragging rights galore.

Architectural Record reports on another innovative but non-sartorial undertaking at Parsons that's certainly brag-worthy: bronXscape, an urban rooftop garden atop the Louis Nine House, a soon-to-open building operated by the nonprofit group, Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter. The 46 tenants in the building will be young adults who have aged out of foster care or are homeless. bronXscape is set to be completed by the spring semester graduate students in Parsons Design Workshop, an elective design/build course. Call it Project Green Roof, if you must.

bronXscape, a collaborative effort between the graduate students, boasts an impressive amount of green, literally and figuratively, for a lone rooftop in the Bronx: A cold-frame greenhouse, a moss wall, composting, two separate gardens, a rainwater collection system, solar panels that feed directly into NYC’s power grid, and a covered, all-season canopy for communal meals and food prep. Tenants of the Louis Nine House will be encouraged to tend to planters growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Most of the construction was prefabricated off-site at a Parsons studio.

Constructing an eco-friendly rooftop oasis in the middle of New York City wasn't an easy task. For one, the students’ initial application for a building permit was denied. And the fun didn’t start or end there, reports writer Tim McKeough:
The project presented numerous challenges from the beginning: the roof of the building wasn’t designed to carry much weight, so structural elements could only touch load-bearing walls; materials would have to be hoisted directly to the roof from the street; students were required to navigate New York City’s sometimes bewildering permit process.
Kudos to Parsons, the bronXscape’s student designers, and the NSC. A sky-high patch of green to call one’s own is a true luxury in NYC, especially for those struggling to establish a sense of home.

Via [Architectural Record]


Photos: Parsons Design Workshop 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

A garden grows in the Bronx
Parsons students turn a Bronx rooftop into a green oasis for young adults transitioning out of foster care.