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Harlem is at risk of both the immediate impacts of climate change, including extreme weather, flooding, and air pollution, and the gradual erosion of its vibrant cultural identity amid evolving demographics and a changing entertainment district. In response, Rooted aims to achieve both infrastructural resilience and cultural stewardship, championing co-living spaces tailored for artists and entertainers within an earthly design.

Positioned at the intersection of 128th and Convent Street on the site of an abandoned building, this project transforms a once lifeless area into a vibrant hub. It features an outdoor amphitheater, indoor performance atrium, and connecting throughways, repurposing the existing building for amenity spaces, and leveraging the natural slope for the amphitheater. Inspired by porous study models, the design prioritizes art-sharing programs in the in-between spaces. The integration of housing floors with distinctive shared spaces cultivates a sense of community among artists, igniting creativity in shared living spaces that seamlessly blend indoor, semi-indoor, and outdoor environments. The project delves into sustainable construction methods, identifying light straw clay for its insulation, structural benefits, and eco-friendly properties. In essence, Rooted not only preserves Harlem’s cultural roots but also fortifies its future, embodying the spirit of Harlem in a forward-looking endeavor.