Minifie van Schaik Architects
MvS Architects
Past Futures, Present, Futures

97 Kenmare Street, New York
read about the exhibition

A re-imagination of Roger Ferri's 1976 'Green Skyscraper.'

Past Futures, Present, Futures presented 101 unrealized proposals for New York City, dating from its formation to today with 101 reenactments by inviting artists, architects, writers and policy-makers to create alternative visions for the present and future of the city.

“The Skyscraper as a Garden”
In a brilliant moment of inspiration in 1976, the architect and interior designer Roger Ferri produced a visionary New York skyscraper enveloped from top to bottom by a band of forestation in the terraced sections where vegetation invaded the building, the edges of the structure were fragmented, as if eaten away by the encroaching greenery. Ferri’s intention was to expand on (Frank Lloyd) Wright’s concept of the tree that escaped the forest by inserting an arcadian tower of pines, waterfalls, and gorges in the center of Manhattan. In contrast to the St. Mark’s tower, which would have soared above adjacent town houses, Ferri proposed a living tree in a forest of remnants from the Industrial Age.

(James Wines, “Vertiscapes: The Skyscraper as Garden”. BIG & GREEN Toward sustainable architecture in the 21 Century, pp. 82-83)

Using Minecraft as a visualization tool, traditionally a PC game that allows the user to construct a world out of textured blocks, we re-processed Ferri's 'Green Skyscraper,' ultimately aspiring to a contemporary interpretation of his work. Ideas of innovation are explored in terms of software and the creative appropriation of software designed for interactive entertainment as a design tool.