Marlboro Agricultural Education Center (MAEC)

Project Name
Marlboro Agricultural Education Center (MAEC)

Brooklyn, NY

Under Construction

New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC); New York City Housing Authority NYCHA


9,900 SF

Targeting LEED Gold

Reimagining a more just and inclusive food system, the Marlboro Agricultural Education Center transforms the grounds of a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) campus into a welcoming hub for multigenerational education, job training, and community leadership in nutrition and urban agriculture.

An early conceptual diagram showcases how entrances on multiple sides of the Center build physical and visual connections to the street and surrounding area.

On the ground floor, a teaching kitchen and flexible multipurpose room are united to support cooking and nutrition programs for the community.

Guided by the mission of its nonprofit operator, The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH), the Center builds on long running efforts across the city to strengthen food autonomy and security in underserved neighborhoods. The new building, located in Brooklyn’s Gravesend neighborhood, brings diverse, community-orientated programs to the western edge of Marlboro Houses, a typical NYCHA campus featuring residential towers set back from the street. The design strengthens connections with the surrounding neighborhood and campus through generous sidewalk frontage and large windows that reveal the activities within. A central, accessible entrance and public terrace with plantings and seating invites people to explore the building.

Natural light activates flexible teaching and community spaces on the ground floor where people can attend cooking and nutrition programs and collect fresh, high-quality produce, while the upper level supports a working greenhouse dedicated to hydro- and aquaponics. Complementing but offset from the surrounding urban fabric, the Center’s bright plaster façade and transparent upper level generates a sense of warmth and openness that enlivens both street and campus.

Introducing density to the expansive site and maximizing efficiency through its compact footprint, the building models a sustainable way forward for buildings at the center of the food justice movement. The design incorporates passive heating and cooling, solar access for growing, all-electric systems, rainwater storage and reuse, and durable materials. Together these strategies establish a vibrant place that is designed to support residents over the long term as they collectively grow a more just future.

At the building’s south, doors open onto a small public terrace and planter garden, encouraging people to stop by and relax.

Project Team

The Campaign Against Hunger, Project Operator

Consigli Construction Company, Design-Build Contractor

Eponymous Practice, Landscape Architect

Thornton Tomasetti, Structural Engineer, Sustainability, Resiliency, Envelope Compliance Consultant

Philip Habib & Associates, Civil Engineer

Langan, Geotechnical Engineer

BALA Consulting Engineers, MEPFP

Renfro Design Group, Lighting Design Consultant

Urban Arborists, Arborist

VDA, Vertical Transportation Consultant

LSTN, Audio-Visual, IT, Security Consultant

CODE LLC, Code Consultant

Karp Strategies, Community Engagement Consultant

Hopkins Foodservice, E. Friedman, Food Service Consultant

Agritecture, Greenhouse Agriculture Consultant

Prospiant, Greenhouse Enclosure Design