Mothballed: Transforming the Carcass of a Naval Warehouse into an Agricultural Incubator

Thumbnail Image


Publication or External Link






Philadelphia has one of the oldest and most rich industrial heritages in the United States. The Philadelphia Navy Yard itself was one of the first established shipyards in the United States. After a long history of shipbuilding, the end of the Cold War had rendered the site and its production of military ships inoperative. Since the yard's closure in 1996, the remaining derelict buildings and vessels are a ghostly reminder of the Navy Yard's past significance.

This thesis will explore the stimulation of the yard by reestablishing its reason for being. The rapid progression of technological advancements has left shipbuilding a trade of the past. As a result, many structures that were once hubs of superior industrial manufacturing now remain neglected. This project will investigate adaptively reusing the abandoned carcass of a naval warehouse and its surrounding officer quarters. Memory of the site's industrial past will foster the integration of an agricultural research center that demonstrates state-of-the-art processes as part of a renewed form of technological tradition. This research center will become a beacon of agricultural research, education, and exhibition, while carrying on the building and Navy Yard's tradition as a place of technology and production.