The editors at suckerPUNCH are sponsoring an open international design competition. Perfectly situated but notoriously maligned, the Gowanus Canal borders the vibrant Brooklyn neighborhoods of Red Hook, Park Slope, and Carroll Gardens. As a result of heavy industrial pollution, the canal took on an iridescent purple sheen gaining it the nickname “Lavender Lake.”
Most industry abandoned the area in the late 1950′s leaving the polluted canal lined with derelict warehouses and scrap heaps. At the end of several dead end streets, the canal also became a popular dumping ground for illicit waste and bodies. The last few years has seen renewed interest in reviving the area and dredging the canal as the bordering neighborhoods have filled and now bustle with activity. Gowanus has seen a rise in action over the past twelve months with the opening of bars, music venues, outdoor event spaces, and artists studios.
As the EPA and New York City wrestle over whether or not Gowanus will be designated as a superfund site, this competition proposes a new artists factory for the “public place” site. The proposal will be designed to both foster creative production and attract visitors to the factory and neighborhood. The factory will contain private/shared art studios, a storefront gallery/bar, analog/digital shops, and live/work spaces for rotating artists in residence.
For complete site conditions, awards, requirements, schedule and fees, check the competition’s offical website.