Four teams of architects have been selected to envision new possibilities for a long stretch of vacant land along the Sandy-battered coast in the Rockaways. The ideas presented at Thursday’s announcement range from practical resiliency tactics to creative design solutions such as dune sand filters, elevated undulating boardwalks, and clusters of low-rise and mid-rise housing.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) along with private developers and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, launched the Far Roc Competition back in April to generate proposals to turn an 80-plus-acre site, called Averne East, into a resilient mixed-use waterfront community. The competition calls on architects to think expansively about the challenges facing the Rockaways and come up with a multi-layered proposals that offer concrete ideas for sustainable mixed-income housing, flood protection measures, and recreation and park land.
“We need to build durable, affordable infrastructure for those who really need and deserve it,” said Bomee Jung Enterprise Community Partner, an affordable housing organization.
The competition yielded 117 submissions from more than 20 countries. The jury panel whittled it down to four finalists, all hailing from across the globe: New York-based Ennead Architects, Toronto’s Lateral Office, London-based Seeding Office, and Scandinavian firm White Arkitekter.
“We don’t have a choice. We have to conquer this challenge if we want to ensure the viability of our waterfront community,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew Wambua. “We are eagerly anticipating the final presentation of your visions [addressing finalists].”
Plans to develop this site have been brewing for several years. In 2007, HPD and developers—the Bluestone Group, L+M Development, and Triangle Equities—were in talks to build a mixed-income development, but held off when the economic crisis hit.
The four finalists will be awarded $30,000 to continue to fine-tune and develop their ideas. The proposal deadline for the second phase of the competition will be on October 7th.
In addition to the four finalists, there were six honorable mentions, which included: Michael Cowdy from Sydney-based firm McGregor Coxall; John Ellis from San Francisco and Seatte-based firm Mithun; Iljoong Kim from New York-based firm ijKim Architect; Giuseppe Lignano from New York-based Lot-EK; Pablo Oriol from FRPO Rodriquez & Oriol in Madrid; and Zhang Quian Christopher from Los Angeles and Honk Kong-based eLandScript.