Some of you may remember a proposal from 3+ years ago to bring a sustainable Earthship home to 61 Pitt Street—a vacant Lower East Side lot zoned for a twelve-story building. The proposed design was the brainchild New Mexico-based architect Michael Reynolds and backed by local resident Ken Ruck who championed for its construction with the LES’ Community Board 3. Surprisingly, the board wasn’t against it, nor was the site’s owner, but Ruck and Reynolds didn’t make much headway beyond that meeting and quietly disappeared without any word on what would come next.
Now fast forward to 2014, and Mr. Reynolds is back with a new and improved (but equally out-of-this-world) iteration that employs the popular floor-maximizing cantilever taking our city by storm.
The new design has been optimized for its site, rising high like a “sunflower” to “elevate it to the proper height for solar gain and energy/water harvest (relative to local structures south of the site)”. Compared to the previous version, the tower is much more narrow, trading its cathedral-like design for a castle structure in the sky. The raised design also leaves the street level lot “open and light” for what we guess would be a public/community space.
Earthship homes built around the world
As insane as the rendering may appear, Reynolds has successfully built thousands of Earthship homes around the globe over four decades. The LES design is an adapted version of his global model, and if built, it would be the first Earthship in New York City.
Earthships utilize recylced materials and state-of-the-art systems to collect rain and snow, produce electricity with wind and solar panels, and recycle sewage. Interior temperatures are also regulated naturally and the homes come with edible gardens for food.
Reynolds told that The Lo-Down progress on the project was stalled due to concerns related to cost as well as Hurricane Sandy. He will be presenting the new design at a conference at the New School on November 1st. Tickets to the event can be purchased here. And even more information on Earthships can be found here.
[Via The Lo-Down]
Neighborhoods : Lower East Side