Ennead Architects / Ennead Lab was recognized for Leading Innovation in Resilient Waterfront Development and named runner-up in the "For a Resilient Rockaway" (FAR ROC) design competition. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and its affiliates made the announcement on Wednesday at the Arverne East site in the Rockaways. Titled "Fostering Resilient Ecological Development" (F.R.E.D.), Ennead’s submission creates a solution that is not only practical but also replicable for low-lying coastal communities up and down the Atlantic seaboard.
“The Ennead team’s submission struck so many of us in the room as a great opportunity not to be missed,” stated Steve Bluestone of The Bluestone Organization. “It was a big idea and I would still like to see the proposal get built – it should be built. And while this beachfront turned out not to be the right fit, I do not doubt that there are many other beachfront communities that will embrace this plan.”
Ennead Architects/Ennead Lab was selected along with the winning White Arkitekter team from Sweden as one of four finalists chosen from a pool of 117 submissions from more than twenty countries. “The jury was at a standstill for many hours – the decision was finally made at the eleventh hour and it was not an easy one by any means,” added Bluestone.
A progression of micro-environments extends across the site, beginning at the beach, which functions in a dynamic fashion with the primary and secondary dunes, and progressing to hardier and more stable shrub land and maritime forest on the higher ground. Low-lying wet meadows serve as bio-retention areas to collect and filter stormwater. Together, the system protects the neighborhood from wave energy, replenishes the beach, manages surface water, and sponsors habitat opportunities. A series of paths extends across the site within the valleys of the dunes, linking small community recreation sites like gardens, dog run, and toddler playgrounds.
Three elevated pedestrian piers, aligned with the existing street grid, organize pedestrian and vehicular access, utility distribution, and retail activity. At the north end, the piers connect to the elevated stations of the A Train and sponsor neighborhood retail hubs on two levels serving the larger community; at the south the piers extend over the dunes, connecting to the boardwalk and offering beachfront destinations and community amenities. Roads follow the principal piers, with vehicular traffic, sidewalks, street parking and additional retail at grade below. If sea-level rise eventually brings regular tidal flooding from Jamaica Bay, the elevated piers will allow the neighborhood to adapt to a predominantly pedestrian community.
The housing is collected into dense clusters of three- and four-story row houses, elevated off the ground and organized around a shared deck, which connects at one end to the pier and at the other down to the valley paths. Large openings in the deck provide light and access to parking below. In addition to common outdoor spaces, the houses share a ground-source heating and cooling loop and a rooftop photovoltaic array. These systems, along with efficient massing and envelope, natural ventilation, and energy efficient fixtures, allow the housing cluster to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of the year.
Design Team Leaders: Andrew Burdick; Christina Ciardullo; Dalia Hamati; David Teppe
Project Year: 2013
Text courtesy of Ennead Architects / Ennead Lab.