A few weeks ago in the Town of Babylon, the NY Rising Communities of the south shore of Long Island gathered to display and present their work so far in the planning stages. The communities that presented were the villages of Lindenhurst, Copiague, Babylon, West Babylon and Amityville. All of the towns went through a comprehensive "community asset" workshop to identify all of the key assets in each town. The resilient projects that will be determined for each town will be centered around the key assets as to protect them. Some of the key assets included waterfront residences, marinas, parks, housing developments close to water, schools, etc. The event was a success and it was a great way for all of the local residents and committee members to find out what each adjacent town was up to with their conceptual plan for a more resilient south shore.
About a year ago I entered my thesis year at NYIT. I wanted to focus my year-long research and design project on something meaningful. I chose to study the deteriorating ecology of the Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, NY. Newtown Creek is a tributary of the East River and is part of the New York/New Jersey harbor estuary system. It forms the northern border of Brooklyn and the southern border of Queens. In the mid-1800s, the 3.5-mile creek became one of the busiest hubs of industrial activity in the country. More than fifty industries emerged along the water’s edge, including refineries, petrochemical plants, glue factories and coal plants. Massive industrial pollution resulted from this heavy activity. What’s worse, NYC began dumping raw sewage into the creek in 1856 - something that continues to this day via combined sewer outflows. Currently, factories and facilities still operate along the creek and it was proposed as a national superfund site in September 2009.
If that wasn’t enough, on October 5, 1950 an estimated 17-30 million gallons of oil leaked into the water, settling on the creek bed and seeping into the soil underneath local communities. The spill continues to burn underground to this day and is estimated to course below 55 acres of Greenpoint residential, commercial and industrial property; affecting hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses. This has all contributed to the creeks overall failure as a natural ecosystem.
Half way through my first semester of research, Super-storm Sandy hit the tri-state area. It destroyed everything in its path and left me and my family out of our home for a month. It also left me with a totally new direction for my thesis project. The effect the tremendous storm surge had on the Newtown Creek was devastating. The biggest problem became the endless impermeable surfaces adjacent to the water’s edge. Along with that, deteriorating bulkheads in this fragile zone act to “shut out” the water and its dynamic natural cycles, such as tidal fluctuations and the occasional storm surge impact. This led me to look at a similar issue - the increase in the frequency of strong storms caused by global climate change. It was clear that I examine opportunities in this extremely vulnerable zone for a series of building interventions that work with the land and water in new ways.
One of the goals of my project was to not just simply have a building as a final product, but to also change the way people live and interact with the water. I wanted to create a series of spaces along the water’s edge that would engage local residents and invite them to learn more about it. It became sort of a participatory design project as I began to walk along the water’s edge, connect with local residents and attend social events in Greenpoint. I learned that many of the people that live there don’t know about the negative effects storm surges can have on their communities. In this way, creating a sense of resilience not only as a physical and architectural buffer zone but also as a new type of mindset is extremely important. It almost suggests a paradigm shift in the way we live in coastal communities.
Also here is an article written about what I call, "Extreme Weather Architecture"
ORLI was recently invited to attend two very important post-Sandy Symposiums over the past few weeks. They were both very successful and brought together professionals in and out of the field of architecture to get some new views on city resilience and regional comprehensive planning to mitigate weather-related disasters. The DfRR (Design for Risk and Reconstruction committee - AIA NY) also had a presence at both events. Photos from both are below.
As ORLI begins the next phase with the 3C Competition, a few things to keep in mind:
We have our submission deadline July 25, 2013 and after that the jury process will commence.
Shortly after, a public choice campaign will commence to select a public choice winner.
Our exhibition opening is October 3, 2012 and will end October 17, 2013. Our "Resilient Visions: Hurricane Sandy One Year Later" Symposium and final jury selection of winners event will take place October 10, 2013 (10-10-13). We are very excited to host many winners from around the world and esteemed professionals as part of our global network.
Stay tuned here for more updates soon.
Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter! --> @NYITORLI
Our submission page is now up and running on our website! Please see the link below.
Please know that submission deadline for the 3C Competition is on July 25, 2013.
Please note that for every individual to simply REGISTER for the competition (using only the primary contact email name) will receive a $20 Inventables.com gift card as previously stated in the competition brief. However for all individuals and teams who SUBMIT their proposals for the competition, every member (instead of just the primary contact) of that team will receive a $20 Inventables.com gift card. So, keep those proposals coming!
Also, below is the competition board template for all to use. It is a simple text box indicating where important information for judging should appear on your competition board. It will also be sent to all registrants via email after June 30, 2013.
If anyone has any questions about submission, please email co-chair Dan Horn at -->
Alex and myself attended the New York Interagency Engineering Council conference last Thursday. It was a very informative and beneficial event which brought together a number of difference engineering and architecture agencies including some NYC economic agencies. New and innovative engineering strategies were presented. The speakers all stressed that our coastal infrastructure is severely outdated. New blueway plans were proposed and being implemented now.
A good precedent coastal community called Arverne by the Sea was one of the only coastal community developments that weathered the storm unscathed from storm waters. It is located in Rockaway. The entire community is raised approximately 4-5 feet on a plinth. Wide dune planting zones absorbed wave and storm surge action - the major cause of devastation in the Rockaways. Nourished beaches, increased elevations and high capacity drainage systems all contributed to its resilience during the storm.
Photos and flyer from the event are above.
Post Sandy: Reports from the Field 4/25 6:30pm
You are invited to attend our Post Sandy event Raise or Stay: Reports from the Field. We believe it is the appropriate time to report individual efforts post Sandy, share information and begin future collaborations.
We have 8 distinct presentations representing different regions. The event will commence promptly at 6:30 pm and presentations will be timed and limited to 10 minutes to fit in all the presentations. The presentations will wrap up at 8pm when we will have wine and food.
Please RSVP by visiting http://www.3ccompetition.org/steelcase-425.html
The event is FREE and will take place at Steelcase NY, 7th Fl, 4 Columbus Circle NY, NY 10019.
Please remember we offer 1.5 CES credits for attending.
AIA NY: Illya Azaroff AIA
AIA NJ: Verity Frizzell AIA
AIA LI: Martin Hero AIA
Non profit and Government:
NYC Office of Emergency Management: Cynthia Barton - Housing Recovery Program
Rebuilding Together NYC : Jennifer Terry - Program Director
NJIT: Sabrina Raia: NJIT Sandy Alternative Spring Break
Pratt: Lindsay Donnellon Pratt Disaster Resilience Network
NYIT: Alex Alaimo and Daniel Horn: Operation Resilient Long Island
We would love for you to join us at our event Raise or Stay: The Road Forward Post Sandy where we will have student presentation from Pratt, NJIT and NYIT all speaking about their student lead events. Illya from AIA will also speak and we hope the event will be an opportunity to share information and foster a spirit of regional collaboration between schools and organizations.
RSVP here --> http://www.3ccompetition.org/steelcase-425.html
The student group ORLI Operation Resilient Long Island will host the Raise or Stay: The Road Forward Post Sandy, event on April 25 2013, at 6:30pm at Steelcase NY, 4 Columbus Circle. The event will showcase student lead post sandy initiatives from Pratt, New Jersey Institute of Technology and New York Institute of Technology. Speakers from NYC, New Jersey and American Institute of Architects New York will speak on how their local communities and organizations are dealing with Sandy. The event intends to bring together groups in the spirit of regional collaboration. A food and wine reception will follow the event and AIA CES credit will be provided.
ORLI is proud to enter the digital manufacturing revolution and announce a newly minted sponsorship from Inventables.com. Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan is breaking into the architecture field by supporting the 3C competition. Inventables will offer a $20 Inventables gift card for all that register for the competition. Additionally Inventables will sponsor $100 giftcards for Award winners.
Inventables is a great resource for designers, architects and students. They sell both the machines and materials to make any product or model. Inventables offers Laser Cutting machines and acrylic and wood materials sized for laser cutting. 3D printing is a up and coming process in architecture and Inventables helps put the designer in control of model making and the manufacturing process. Another awesome offering is Inventables' inspirational materials like aluminum foam which can be great for experimental model making or to make a great impression on any jury.
"At Inventables we believe the world is at the beginning of a new renaissance. We see power in product development shifting from major corporations to individual designers and entrepreneurs. The availability of low cost manufacturing tools and low cost distribution on internet sites are leveling the playing field. Small teams can now make unique high value products that major corporations can’t justify because they aren't for the masses."
This week was very exciting for the ORLI team. Our twitter account, where we post general updates and share similar Sandy rebuilding efforts, was featured in this past Thursday's Newsday as "One to Watch on Twitter." You can read more about it here.
Alex and myself also went to the Architectural League of New York lecture series "Emerging Voices" in NYC featuring dlandstudio and MASS Design Group. Susannah Drake from dlandstudio spoke about some of her recent projects that focus on resilience, green space, and the overall neighborhoods focused in Brooklyn and Queens. She also spoke about her project for the Rising Current Exhibition from a few years back.
We are also preparing for the competition launch which will be next Monday, March 25. Much work still needs to be done until then, so we will all be spending out spring breaks working diligently. Another big event that it upcoming is the AIAS Northeast QUAD conference, where we will be presenting ORLI and the 3C competition to gauge students interest in entering. Look for another post later in the week!