Gowanus Lowline Competition: Connections will be exhibiting winning entries from the Open Ideas Competition on Thursday, September 15th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the SET Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Check out the winners here: Gowanus Lowline Competition Winners. The competition was framed with the goal of inspiring projects that questions and confronted urban development in postindustrial sites. The open-ended program asked for a “pedestrian-oriented architecture” that engaged the canal and the watershed, long neglected as an industrial and manufacturing zone. This competition is a first of a series that focuses on the connections in and around the canal. As it is right now, the Gowanus Canal is just out of reach, and with its levels of contamination – which the EPA is begining to address – it may be for the best.
But the future of the Canal is still to be seen and competitions such as Gowanus Connections help begin the design development of urban remediation in industrial areas, where social life can begin to reclaim areas of the city long controlled by the industrial sector. There are moments when New Yorkers can glance into the murky waters of the Gowanus, either along one of its five connecting bridges or along the edge of the Industrial Park near the Ninth Street Bridge, but for the most part it is an ignored part of the city. The competition has its roots in the Van Alen Institute’s 2001 exhibition, Public by Design, which saw the post-industrial waterfront as an opportunity to transition from private to public ownership and transform an area once dominated by industry into a recreational site. The competition continues this tradition under Gowanus by Design, which was started as a collaboration between David Briggs and Anthony Deen: two architects whose common interest in community development and urban design and planning helped found the organization and the competition.