‘Far Rockaway: Accommodating Nature’ – MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas Winning Proposal / archedesign

  • 22 Jun 2013
  • by
  • mini Urban Design Urban Planning
Courtesy of

The ‘Far : Accommodating Nature’ proposal by archedesign for the MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas accommodates nature, instead of fighting it. Selected as one of the winning entries, the concept both creates a more fluid connection between the urban neighborhood and the surrounding water, and helps to minimize future environmental damage.  It does this by re-purposing the concrete structures remaining from the dilapidated boardwalk, and creating pathways that will channel surge water to flow between the ocean and the bay. More images and architects’ description after the break.

© Rocco S. Cetera

Far Rockaway lies on a long, narrow peninsula that is effectively a barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Jamaica bay on the other.  The proposal focuses on two main ideas:  re-purposing the concrete structures remaining from the dilapidated boardwalk, and creating pathways that will channel surge water to flow between the ocean and the bay.

Courtesy of archedesign

Instead of re-building the horizontal boardwalk, which created a visual barrier to the ocean, we would re-utilize the existing concrete structures that remain of the boardwalk and re-integrate them into the natural environment.  These concrete piers located among the dune will become the key element for stabilizing them as they will naturally protect the vegetation from the harsh wind and ocean allowing them to grow.

plan

We would help reshape the dune in such a way as to manage surge water more effectively.  In the event of a storm surge, water should be channeled to select streets running perpendicular to the ocean by using retaining walls and other movable devices.  In this way, ocean water could flow through to the bay and vice versa, avoiding substantial flooding.

scheme concept

The existing concrete piers will also accommodate small platforms for the public, located at regular intervals, such as bathrooms and concessions.  These new structures, placed perpendicular to the ocean not parallel to it as in the case of the old boardwalk, will help create a more fluid connection between the ocean, the urban fabric of the neighborhood, and the bay.

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "‘Far Rockaway: Accommodating Nature’ – MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas Winning Proposal / archedesign" 22 Jun 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=391747>
  • LL

    Rather than a barrier to the water I’d say the boardwalk is a public link to the water! And wont this dramatically change the fragile conditions of J bay?

  • James MD

    None of the winning proposals in this competition so far are useful. They turn difficult problems into melodramatic dystopian poetry that pretends to be political, but a political solution that doesn’t embrace reality isn’t anything more than pretentiousness. The solutions to inhabiting Rockaway will necessitate new formal ideas, the raising of land/buildings, but by exaggerating the scale of what needs to be done and how we need to do it, MOMA PS1 is only fueling the nihilism in the community and the desire to rebuild exactly as they’ve always been doing, in a way that no longer works. Architects need to be idealistic and poetic and also pragmatic. If they refuse to do that, then they fail to prove they sincerely care about the people and the place in Rockaway.

  • Ruth Ginsberg-Place

    A bold design channeling storm waters down selected streets between the bay and ocean reminds me of successful solutions to rising seas and surges in the lowland countries like the Netherlands. Archdesign clearly has intimate knowledge of the landscape and needs of the residents of Far Rockaway. Its ecologically sensitive design solutions for storm surges also encourages dune rebuilding, vegetation re-growth and repurposing the structural remains of the boardwalk. By creating small storm resistant structures perpendicular to the ocean that will contain restrooms and concessions, it can serve beach user’s needs which maintaining an unobstructed ocean view.

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