White arkitekter, ARUP and Gensler have been announced as the winning team in a two-stage international competition for the resilient redevelopment of an 80+ acre site on the Rockaway Peninsula, Arverne East in New York. The competition was launched in April 2013 following the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy which ravaged the area in October 2012, leaving many people without adequate housing. The other shortlisted firms included Ennead Architects, Lateral Office and Seeding Office.
The competition was hugely popular, gaining 117 entries from around the world, and a public exhibition of the finalist submissions will go on display this November at the AIA New York Center for Architecture. The brief given by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development was to create innovative ideas for resilient development strategies with a blueprint for future redevelopment further along the coastline. The competition was posted by WAN’s Business Information Service and the official document can be viewed here.
Project Architect at White arkitekter Sander Schuur commented: “Arverne East is a place with a strong identity. Thousands of residents of Arverne East lost their homes during Hurricane Sandy. But the disaster also led to a stronger sense of community in the area. The essence of White’s proposal is to channel the resident’s involvement and provide them with new tools to act and react in the community’s interest. With our Scandinavian approach, we believe we can strengthen and enrich the community and provide the opportunity for the community to realise their dreams.”
Rather than a static approach, White arkitekter’s winning concept melds to the forces of nature ‘like a surfer to the waves’, reacting organically to unpredictable weather conditions. The team proposes a series of active interventions at small scale such as artificial islands which will absorb wave impact, interacting with nature rather than attempting to counteract these extreme conditions. Also included in the successful plan are residential developments, retirement communities, landscaped parks, and public and commercial opportunities.
The Far Rockaway Library by Snohetta is currently in design development. More details can be found here.