Above the Pavement—The Farm! is a smorgasbord. Based on P.F.1 (Public Farm 1)—a temporary working urban farm and social space built within a cardboard structure rising over 30 feet high, filled with 19 tons of experimental soil, and featuring more than 50 varieties of plants and vegetables—this book explains the literal nuts and bolts of what might appear at the outset an impossibly utopian endeavor. Architects WORKac designed and organized P.F.1 for MoMA’s P.S.1 2008 Young Architects Program with the ambition of creating a new type of sustainable urban infrastructure, producing its own power, reclaiming rainwater, and creating sustenance. This was done with the help of more than 150 collaborators including farmers, politicians, horticulturists, technicians, soil scientists, architecture students, and artists. These participants’ oral histories form the bulk of this book’s narration, demystifying a fast-paced, complex collaborative process.P.F.1 is also situated here within a delectable range of ideas and issues found at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, and food. Artist and “Edible Estates” activist Fritz Haeg muses on the relationship between architecture and the land. Architectural historian Meredith TenHoor presents a selection of architect-designed farms from the 18th century to the present. MVRDV’s Winy Maas discusses the role of the visionary in today’s cities with WORKac’s Amale Andraos and Dan Wood. As a final treat, readers will find a P.F.1-inspired vegetable salad recipe by the Gramercy Tavern’s Head Chef Michael Anthony.
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