Kenmare Square LLC and Brooklyn-based, nonprofit architecture and urban design research group, TerreForm has been working on a project in Manhattan for a proposed building, creating a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary on the facade, atrium and roof of a new, commercial building. Sounds like a sanctuary for the people within! Let’s take a look at the plan.
The exciting new project is expected to be an eight-story building containing retail and office space, weaving butterfly conservation strategies throughout the entire design, with an open monarch habitat for people, plants and the endangered Monarchs.
While the urban setting of Manhattan may seem unusual, it’s interesting to know that the Monarchs migrate every year from Mexico and Florida to our City, laying their eggs on milkweed plants in our green spaces.
Included in the 30,000 square-foot project will be a large-scale Lepidoptera terrarium. This creative sanctuary will help to bolster the Monarch’s presence with the addition of the open plantings of milkweed and nectar flowers on the roof, rear facade, and terrace, along with semi-enclosed colonies in the atrium and street side facade. This “vertical meadow” will serve as an incubator and safe haven for Monarchs throughout all our Seasons. Here, the Monarchs can come and go from inside the building system and roof.
People on the street will be treated to a magnified live view of the caterpillars and butterflies inside the vertical meadow, provided by LED screens at street level.
Hovering around the building will be a few butterfly-shaped drones taking readings and maps of the immediate microclimate. These drones will return every few minutes to recharge, while giving real-time data, helping to maintain butterfly health.
The Monarch Sanctuary building will be located at 23-35 Cleveland Place in Nolita, along the Bowery, just a few blocks west of the New Museum and around the corner from Storefront for Art and Architecture. It will face the small triangular paved public Park, Petrosino Square.
New York Yimby indicated in November, 2020 that the project had a positive review by NYC Department of City Planning, bringing it a step closer to breaking ground. Below ~ New York Yimby site map.
The Monarch Sanctuary was part of “Nature ~ Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” 2019, exploring design’s ability to address critical issues surrounding nature, climate and the environment, and on view at Cooper Hewitt through January 20, 2020.
Stay tuned for progress on a project that we hope moves forward in 2021.