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Winner Chosen for Design of Resilient Rockaways Community

October 23, 2013
Image courtesy FAR ROC
A street view from White Arkitekter's winning proposal for the FAR ROC design competition.

Stockholm-based architectural practice White Arkitekter has been selected as the winner of the two-phase "For a Resilient Rockaway" (FAR ROC) design competition, organized by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, among others.

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The competition brief, launched in April, asked designers to develop ideas for a new mixed-use, mixed-income, sustainable, and storm-resilient community on an 80-acre site on the Rockaway Peninsula, one of the coastal sections of the city severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. In July, the competition organizers—which also include L+M Development Partners, The Bluestone Organization, Triangle Equities, and Enterprise Community Partners—announced the selection of four finalists out of 117 submissions. Ennead Architects, Toronto's Lateral Office, and London's Seeding Office were in the running with White Arkitekter.

“We are very excited about winning the FAR ROC competition. And we are looking forward to working with the community, the developer, and the City of New York to realize a new home for the community to celebrate life,” said Sander Schuur of White Arkitekter, in a press release. “With our Scandinavian approach, we believe we can strengthen and enrich the beautiful community and provide the opportunity for the community to realize their dreams.”

White Arkitekter received $30,000 and the opportunity to discuss the development and construction of its proposal. Final development plans for the mixed-use, mixed income property (with at least 20 percent affordable units) may also incorporate concepts generated by the other three finalists.

Working with Gensler and Arup, White Arkitekter's proposal, "Small Means & Great Ends," advocates for a "series of small, affordable, and smart interventions that center on three strategies: reduce and control damage; provide access in the event of a storm; and ensure quick recovery," according to a press release.

From the team's submission:

Our proposal accomplishes this through a design solution which integrates a healthy mix of housing types supported by commercial and public services and social places. A series of off-shore sandbanks, a protected nature preserve, and two large storm water parks, in addition to the widened beach and dune landscape synergistically weave nature into the plan. The central boulevard lined with commercial and public functions connects Beach 44thStreet Station and surrounding areas directly to the beach and the new pier. A wetland
park surrounding P.S. 106 activates outdoor programming and services for children. The property types are designed to give ownership to young individuals, couples, families, and older generations. In combination with commercial and public services and activities, a vibrant development is created - impactful engagement creates successful communities.

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