Architects negotiate troubled waters

Sharon McHugh
15 Nov 2009

MoMA and PS 1 seek solutions to sea level changes predicted for Manhattan shores

MoMA and P.S. 1 have joined forces to find artful solutions to global warming, which the New York City Panel on Climate Change predicted earlier this year could cause sea levels to rise to a level that will threaten New York’s waterfronts. To prepare for this possibility, the two museums invited teams of architects, engineers and landscape architects to propose soft infrastructure solutions to rising waters in four different locations on the New York and New Jersey waterfronts. The initiative, dubbed Rising Currents, launches November 16th, with an eight-week artist in residence program at P.S. 1 and concludes with an exhibition of the design proposals at MoMA from March 24th through August 10th, 2010.

The four teams selected to participate and their areas of investigation are: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurmaki, and David Lewis of LTL architects, which will work on the Northwest Palisades Bay/Hudson River area, which includes parts of New Jersey, Liberty Park/Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and waters; Matthew Baird of Matthew Baird Architects which will focus on the Southwest Palisades Bay /Kill van Kull area, which includes Bayonne N.J., Bayonne Piers and Northern Staten Island and waters; Eric Bunge and Mimi Hoang of nARCHITECTS which will study the South Palisades Bay area, which includes the waters of the Verrazano Narrows area including eastern Staten Island, and Bay Ridge and Sunset Park in Brooklyn and Kate Orff of SCAPE Studio and her team which will concentrate on the Northeast Palisade Bay/Buttermilk Channel and Gowanus Canal including Governor’s Island, the Red Hook area in Brooklyn and its waters.

The selected teams were among those nominated to participate by a panel of deans, practitioners, journalists and others with the finalists selected by a jury that included Amanda Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning; architect David Adjaye; Michael Oppenheimer, Milbank Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University, and Guy Nordensen, who made the final selection.

Included in the exhibition will be designs for soft infrastructure solutions for the Lower Manhattan region by Adam Yarinsky, of Architecture Research Office, who worked on the Palisade Bay research study with Guy Nordenson and Catherine Seavitt.

Rising Currents marks the beginning of a new series of Architecture and Design exhibitions at MoMA called Issues in Contemporary Architecture, which will focus on timely topics in contemporary architecture.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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