August 5, 2014

P.F.1 (Public Farm 1) by WORK Architecture Company

Designers: Amale Andraos, Dan Wood
P.F.1 - © Elizabeth Felicella
Public Farm One, by WORK Architecture Company, was the winner of the Young Architects Program, run by the New York Museum of Modern Art and the PS1 Contempoary Art Center, to design a temporary installation in the courtyards of PS1 in Queens, NY in 2008. This temporary installation was a shift from the previous 40 years concept of the Urban Beach into a new leisure revolution, one that created a new symbol of liberation, knowledge, power and fun for the city. The Urban Farm became the symbol for their "generations' preoccupations and hopes for a better and different future." Since cities have become accepted as having superior benefits to the suburbs, including quality of life and environmental impacts, they now have become the place of experimentation. Public Farm 1 (P.F.1) "is an architectural and urban manifesto to engage play and reinvent our cities, and our world, once again." 

by WORKac


With the desire to embrace the city's grid as an organizing patter, WORKac created a daisy pattern of six tubes arranged in a hexagon around a seventh tube. This central tube alternates between a structural column or a "picking hole" to access and harvest the crops above. Since this was a temporary installation, they decided to work with cardboard tubes which would be recyclable and biodegradable as the primary building material. Wood blocking and bolts were added to each tube for additional strength and for attaching them together.

by WORKac


WORKac selected 51 varieties of herbs, fruit and vegetables to thrive in the urban environment and planted to bloom in succession throughout the summer. The plants are also organized by the “daisy pattern,” each daisy planted with a single species.

Plant Diagram - by WORKac
Plant Diagram - by WORKac

Irrigation and Power

Rainwater was collected into a cistern from the roof of PS1 which collected over 6,000 gallons of rainwater over the course of the exhibit. The plants were irrigated by a extemely efficient drip irrigation system. P.F.1 was designed to be completely off-grid. An array of eighteen photovoltaic modules was sized to power all of the pavilion's loads - videos screens, speakers, lights, cell phone chargers and all of the irrigation pumps.

Systems Diagram - by WORKac

Pavilion Programming

Each column is programmed to create a variety of experiences and interactions beneath the farm. These include a solar-powered juicer for fresh veggie cocktails, a periscope to provide close-up views of the fields, a towel column and a water-spouting column next to the pool, two columns joined together with a bench and enclosed by a curtain to provide privacy, a nighttime column of twinkling stars and cricket sounds and a solar-powered phone-charging column. In the smaller courtyard a series of experiential columns use video and sound to bring animal life to P.F.1 simulating the farm experience in this urban environment.

Ground Program - by WORKac

P.F.1 - by WORKac


The following video shows the creation of Public Farm 1, including construction issues, how it was created and the methods they used to make this fascinating concept a reality.

Public Farm 1 - Sur les Pav├ęs la Ferme from WORKac on Vimeo.


WORK Architecture Company
MoMA Public Farm Exhibit Webstite

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