185 East Third Street: Green Gone Wild in Alphabet City

The renovation of a former East Village garage into an 89-seat theater features a 1500-square-foot green roof.

The Wild Project is a green space for the arts located at 195 East Third Street between Avenues A and B. Architect Gita Nandan of Brooklyn-based Thread Collective transformed an existing one-story garage (which was formerly home to The Bottle Factory) into an 89-seat theater that features a 1500-square-foot green roof. The renovation took place back in June of 2007 and Nandan’s design attempts to preserve the character of the garage’s industrial past by retaining its exposed brick walls and wood joists. In addition to the roof, green design features include bamboo-clad seat platforms, extensive use of daylighting from transparent doors and large picture windows, solar panels, and efficient HVAC and water systems.

The 4″ deep green roof was installed last September by New York City-based Alive Structures and is composed of expanded shale and organic compost compiled by Long Island Compost. The theater has experimented with the roof by planting native plants to determine which will thrive in the shallow roof; successes to date include Wild Columbine, Bleeding Heart, Royal Fern, and Appalachian Sedge.

The Wild Project’s mission is “to bring the community together through inspiring and entertaining art, exploring green technologies, and finding innovative ways to help our world and each other.” The theater has generally focused on mediums such as photography, film, and art work so far, but hopes to stage a theatrical production that presents environmental issues. Owner and artistic director Amanda Gruss told The Villager that she hopes her efforts inspire other cultural venues in the city to follow suit- here’s hoping her spectacular green roof- and lower utility costs- do just that.

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One Response to 185 East Third Street: Green Gone Wild in Alphabet City

  1. Marguerite Van Cook Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    The Wild Project sounds great untill one discovers that they installed a much larger air conditioner than was previously in place and moved it closer to their neighbors. The noise is unbearable for the rest of use who live close by. how efficient is that. We are forced to close our windows even when the teperature is quite cool and to run our air conditioner. This is the case with all the tenants above andbelow. So the question becomes how efficient is their HVAC? We asked them to consider installing their air-conditioner in a less intrusive area of their roof, but they refused. Overall we are using more energy. Their happy green home is a misery for their neighbors and their “Green ” monolithic airconditioner blocks my view of the sky and the green garden I planted on third street back in the day .