Silo City - CODAworx

Silo City

Submitted by Studio V Architecture


Location: Buffalo, NY, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team

Studio Principal & Lead Designer

Jay Valgora

Studio V Architecture


Tom Arleo

Studio V Architecture


Dylan Crean

Studio V Architecture


Kate Lee

Studio V Archtiecture

Cinematographer & Director

Jake Catalanotto

Drone Videography

Jesse Valgora


Manhattan-based STUDIO V Architecture has created a radical design vision for Silo City—the adaptive reuse of the largest collection of grain elevators in the world. Working with owner Rick Smith and development partners, STUDIO V’s design combines innovative architecture, adaptive reuse, and public spaces for over 1 million square foot of ruined industrial buildings in Buffalo, NY. The project will support an extraordinary range of residential, commercial, cultural and recreational uses.

Located on the winding Buffalo River adjacent to Downtown, Silo City contains ten massive concrete grain elevators interconnected with masonry warehouses, mills, and malt-houses. STUDIO V’s design breathes new life into this iconic collection of structures – today largely abandoned – that inspired the 20th century giants of modern architecture, including Le Corbusier, Mendelsohn, and Gropius. The new architectural design combines innovative areas for fine arts & culture (like galleries, installations, art gardens) with body culture, including an elevated natatorium with pools and a velodrome. Housing will be constructed in the flexible mill structures.


“The design transforms Silo City’s windowless elevators into top-lit art galleries and multi-level swimming pools cascading from one level to the next in cylindrical voids of the once-active silos.” - Jay Valgora

Silo City contributes to the city’s connectivity and community by helping revitalize Buffalo’s First Ward neighborhood. Knitting itself into the downtown area, Silo City will partner with local community groups to activate gardens and open spaces. Simultaneously participating in the rebirth of Buffalo’s waterfront through renewing, redefining, and reactivating the edges of Buffalo’s landscape while simultaneously reconnecting its community. Fusing the past, present, and future, Silo City enriches history and incorporates architecture within industrial ruins, engaging and reinventing them for the next generation.

“The ruined grain elevators and steel mills where my father worked in my youth inspired my current practice, dedicated to transforming gaps and edges of cities with contemporary designs that synthesize old and new,” says Valgora.


The project envisions a mutable design whose temporal phases constantly overlap: Silo Ruins, Silo Gardens, Silo Passage, and Silo City. Silo Ruins offers organic programs encouraging awareness and visibility: concerts, exhibitions, tours, and events. Silo Gardens offers a green and tectonic “nursery” of interventions to sustain, enhance, and expand the programming, including infrastructure and landscape, green spaces and amenities. Silo Passage reinvents existing bridges and conveyors by adding new staircases, escalators, and rooftop gardens to provide a “sky path” overlooking the horizons of Lake Erie. Lastly, Silo City engages and integrates the entire campus with overlapping galleries, artist housing, arts hotel, affordable housing, maker space, local restaurant, and physical culture spaces.