Carroll Hall is a 10,000-square-foot lush, green, tranquil salute to the natural and social past in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a once-thriving industrial zone that is now a gentrifying mecca for manufacturing, street art, and nightlife. Using the notion of zero waste to connect people to nature in an urban context, the event venue applies Japanese design principles to evoke the millennia of history in that very location. A series of adjoining, interdependent rooms and green roofs is constructed exclusively from reclaimed materials like brick, wood, steel, slate, and mosaic tiles. The whole is enclosed by a 200-foot-long, 12-foot-high outer wall built with 11,000 bricks and stones salvaged from a warehouse that once stood on the site. These were arranged according to size, shape, and color by master masons. The highly textured wall is key to the ecosystem inside, which nourishes itself with recycled stormwater and sustains the birds, bees, and butterflies living among the carefully selected native plants, with birch and pine trees for shade. The network of secret paths, passageways, and doors is temperature-controlled by automated windows operating on sensors that flush the building with outside air. The building was designed to be of “highest and best use” for the 21st century.


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