Each tower works in a symbiotic relationship with its hydroponic crops. Greywater collection from the mixed-use spaces irrigates crops, which filter the water to be re-used. Inedible plant material is composted; heat from this process is converted to energy to help power the building’s activities. Additionally, the whole of Sym.bio.pia anchors an intricate community network inclusive of the Hudson, Harlem, and other waterfront neighborhoods with their own iterations of this project. Thus, Sym.bio.pia is conceived simultaneously as an iconic urban farming structure that brings public access to the Harlem waterfront, and a replicable component of a city-wide sustainable nutrition and economic network along New York City’s waterfront.
The second place design, the Hudson Exchange by SWARM, consists of a multidisciplinary educational and experimental hub for experts and activists in food policy, nutrition, ecology, and urban systems. Spaces in this sprawling waterfront complex include a green market, food barges to transport produce, educational and research facilities, and a series of terraced gardens that steps down towards the Hudson, framing a view of the city’s skyline in the background. The centerpiece, however, is a tidal pool area that doubles as a wetland restoration laboratory.