A proposed design submitted to the Far Roc competition in 2013.




In 2013, the Far Roc competition called for the planning, design and construction of resilient and sustainable developments in waterfront areas, following the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. While development thus far has generally maintained a distinction between the natural and built environment, the context of this competition begs us to rethink that boundary. With climate change, severe storm events and rising sea levels, our logic of, and capacity for, stable development has been thrown into question.

Our proposed design is centered around two strategic arcs which, at different elevations, blur the distinction between the natural landscape and the constructed environment. The first arc involves the development of a dense community infrastructure attached to the existing elevated A-train. Connected to the train datum by a series of bridges and elevated pathways along a concrete viaduct, the spine contains two rows of mixed-use apartment buildings. These three-to-ten-story buildings are aggregated sectionally at the train datum, as well as at the lower datum of the street grid. At street level, all structures are elevated a minimum of 11 feet above sea level by the use of compacted earth and pilotis; here, a new commercial strip is proposed to revitalize Edgemere Avenue. Above this at 36 feet, public facilities including a school, daycare and nursing home are transformed into potential refuge centers in the case of extreme weather conditions.

With open land comprising 64% of the proposal, the second arc contains zones of permanent dune preserve, low-lying parkland suitable for temporary structures, as well as elevated green spaces which serve as potential sites for future development. Directly engaging with the logic of the boardwalk, the section of protective dunescape responds and connects to the development of the first arc, thereby establishing a cooperative condition that necessarily unites the built environment with the surrounding natural landscape.