Kelsey Lents

Kelsey Lents, a graduate of Yale University and a Fulbright scholar, is currently an M.Arch candidate within Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning.

During her tenure at Columbia, she has spent her summers working for David Chipperfield Architects in Berlin, Germany, as a researcher and designer for Columbia's China Lab based out of four Chinese cities, and interning with NASA's Houston based design team.

Prior to attending graduate school, Lents served as designer and project manager for New York based Tony Chi and Associates. While with the firm, she was project manager and designer for three restaurants within the Mandarin Oriental Taiwan currently under construction and for the interior buildout of a new public space and restaurant within the Grand Hyatt in Bangkok.

But if you were to describe her by her Google search history, you'd hear: baking, cycling, furniture, baking, reading, furniture, baking, cooking, baking.
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gang(GREEN) by Kelsey Lents

Beneath Manhattan lies an existing subterranean urban ecology of waterways and potential spaces for plant life to grow and thrive. Columbia GSAPP student Kelsey Lents creates an underground park that feeds into this network, spreading green throughout the city from below, erupting at moments to contaminate the grid and infect the island and its infrastructure, thus regaining the balance between nature and architecture.


prototypical plans for an underground park and original germination point for the spread of nature through manhattan’s sub-surface infrastructure


manhattan…then and now


where has all the green gone?


taking back the underground


initial concept hand sketches



What happens when nature revolts? Guerilla gardening at its most extreme: a seed arsenal in which seeds are the parasites and New Yorkers become the carriers. Could one underground park infect the entire Manhattan grid?