Portfolio Project Detail

Common Ground Emily Borchardt, Sarah Christensen, and Samantha McKinney

On a small lot in the West Village, a collection of individuals has cultivated a thriving, sustainable community. Common Ground is a co-living and community space built upon the simple idea that in order to grow and expand, one must first establish roots. This duality applies to the site and building, its residents, and the energy and life contained within.

The building adaptively reused an existing structure, adding three levels which provides space for sleeping pods and shared amenities. A small café off W. 12th Street is open to the community and experiments with the produce grown in the aquaponics system by the residents.

Common Ground aims to establish meaningful connections between the residents and the surrounding community. This is done through creating scalable social networks and balancing space to be together and space to retreat to be alone. An integrated aquaponic and anaerobic digester system provides the building with the potential to supply 100% of its energy with the added benefit of suppling fresh ingredients daily to residents and the cafe. Food waste from the surrounding neighborhood is diverted from landfills, collected on site, and fed into the digester. As a complete system, these components of place, people, and energy work together to accomplish Common Ground’s mission: Root down to rise up, together.