This fanciful lawn space creates a respite in the middle of the big city.
Though the rich selection of parks and other outdoor public spaces in many cities cannot be denied, sometimes you just want somewhere to bask in the sun alone. Architectural designer Aaron Berman, a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, has proposed something new: instead of frying up on a roof, why not make a green space right outside your window? Mobile Suburbia would use a truck to attach hanging balconies – with lawns, storage, and room for barbecues, hot tubs and croquet games – to the facade of your building, creating a new way of socializing the outdoors. The temporariness of the balconies reflects the fact that most actual suburban homeowners only use their yard space for a few hours each week. Why pay for space that you barely use?
As many commenters on Gothamist pointed out, there are some practical considerations that the proposal has not yet addressed. The support system for the balcony seems precarious, and some who already worry about air conditioners falling on them say the balconies could detach from the wall and fall to the street. There are also concerns about the platforms blocking other residents’ sunlight. Even if the project needs many adjustments before becoming a possibility, there’s nothing like a healthy flight of fancy to get people thinking differently about their urban space. As one commenter quipped, “physics is always getting in the way of progress.” Check out some of the plans below.