Square Roots 1.0: “Hyper-Dense Urban Hydroponic Agriculture” 

ORE was hired by Square Roots to help create their company’s proof of concept, their first urban farming campus and office/community educational space.

One of ORE’s challenges in this project was the need to re-engineer the off-the-shelf technology to fit within New York’s dense, urban environment.  ORE redesigned the water supply and waste disposal systems to be treated naturally in an on-site bioswale.

Another adaptation to the container system that ORE designed was retrofitting the existing container door end to receive an insulated glass storefront window.  ORE felt this additions was important so visitors to the farm could witness the technology at work within each container, without compromising the farms’ performance.

Each hydroponic farm in the campus of shipping containers can yield more than more 50 lbs of leafy greens each week (the equivalent of two acres of farmland annually) and only needs about eight gallons of water a day. The vertical hydroponics create extremely dense crop yield.

At the heart of Square Roots is the Next-Gen farmer training program, which creates opportunities for more people to become farmers—and future leaders in urban farming—through a year-long internship.

Square Roots came to the old Pfizer building, home to small food and beverage producers, start-ups, non-profits and food kitchens and commissaries.. The Square Roots campus consists of an office space located on the 3rd floor of the building and ten hydroponic, controlled-climate container farms in the parking lot downstairs.


Client: Square Roots
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Area: 14,00 sf
Status: Completed 2016
Photos: ©Square Roots