Brooklyn Vacant Lot is Transformed into a Mixed-Use Communal Garden Using New, Recycled and Donated Materials
Brooklyn, NY July 18th, 2012: Brooklyn based GreenZone Landscape was hired by a condo on Carroll Street in Carroll Gardens to create a space that filled the needs of its apartment owners. Their budget was low. The condo requested an appealing entrance that would bridge the gap between private and public. The middle of the garden would be for bike storage. And the rear of the garden would be a lounging and entertaining area for various functions.
Inspired by the landscape architect James Rose and Sam Mockbee’s Rural Studio, Dan Silverstein designed and built the garden over a period of one year. During that time many of the materials were found and sourced out in Brooklyn. A racing tire discarded in Park Slop became a planter for greenroof succulents. Bricks from a nearby demolition became a raised planting bed. Stones that were found on the site became the walls to a berm planted with ornamental grasses. Discarded Astroturf was attached to a raised deck to become a soft space for lounging. Belgian blocks from a previous job became a delineation line between the lawn and a planting area. Discarded red nesting bowls were included to add color and an offbeat display of various sized circles. Coffee sacks were filled with debris to become the support system for a table. And a path was created using chunks of discarded concrete that had once been a sidewalk.
The garden is situated just up the street from the last remaining working docks of Red Hook where shipping containers are offloaded on a regular basis. The condo for which the garden was created was built as affordable housing back in the 1980’s. The condo was built on landfill that came from the nearby excavation for the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Once home to thousands of longshoremen and their families, the neighborhood has seen much gentrification over the last few years.
Neglected and overgrown with weeds for many years, neighborhood residents and condo owners no longer avoid eye contact with a depressing and underused space. Like any good design, they are more likely to appreciate what is now there. And like the affects of any good design, there is a greater possibility of feeling better about themselves and others around them.
For any additional information about this project please do not hesitate to contact Dan Silverstein at 718.440.7097 or dansilverstein7@
Photos of the project can be seen at http://www.gzlandscape.com/