The post-industrial prairie-scape between the Farmington Canal and the New Haven reservoir provides a fertile landscape of oppositions for proposing a new live/work paradigm. The programming of the site evolved from a small-scale community foundry to an agricultural landscape of Amaranth, a pink-red grain used in fabric dyeing facility. Inhabitants operate along the striated space of the crop rows bracketed by monolithic walls – hung with drying fabrics and replete with deep red soaking pools – concealing concrete, cubic, perforated shells that contain private dwellings and public spaces. This series of thresholds acts as a metronome, embodying the ritual work for the residents. The communal working space is located far from the urban paths, comprised of a threshing floor where the heaps of Amaranth are gathered and a covered space where the plant is processed into dyes with water from the reservoir. Adjacent to the covered space, and within the raised pine forest, a path and stair descend to the edge of the reservoir. Water is extracted from the reservoir for the manual dyeing proces, but no water is ever returned.
Advanced studio with critic Bijoy Jain
H.I. Feldman Award Nominee