During the 2016-2017 academic year, our Studio H program partnered with Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA), an incredible local organization just a few blocks from us that serves at-risk youth with job support, after-school programs, and community gardening.

Students, led by superstar instructor Alejandra Utrera, began with a design and research process, examining the community garden site, interviewing BYA employees, volunteers, and youth about what they would need from a greenhouse. Their design responded to the need for adaptability, compact storage, and natural light, all packed into a small garden with a substantial slope.

The final design was the result of a multi-month design process in which all 75 students designed their own greenhouse, and in small groups, the design was whittled down to a single scheme that each student had contributed to in some way.

The construction took place over the spring semester, beginning with basic framing, sheathing, window construction, roof geometry, interior fixture build-out, and paint. The greenhouse was delivered to BYA in June and has been in use ever since!