Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Commissioned by the New York City Housing Authority, KPF worked with landscape architecture firm OLIN to devise a resiliency and renewal program in response to Superstorm Sandy. Making landfall in October 2012, the storm left thousands of residents of Red Hook without power and basic necessities for more than two weeks. The neighborhood’s infrastructure also suffered dramatically, with virtually all basement mechanical rooms destroyed. Faced with NYCHA’s largest development in Brooklyn, KPF was charged with lessening the community’s vulnerability to natural disasters and improve the sustainability and livability of its 28 buildings housing 6,000 people.
In order to align their master plan with these goals, KPF preformed extensive design research and rounds of community input, including forums, surveys, and workshops. The final scheme includes 14 above-ground “utility pods” that deliver heat and electricity to each building and offer meeting space for public programming. The additional Lily Pad scheme provides permanent flood barriers in the form of raised earth at the center of internal courtyards and an active flood wall supplemented by passive barriers. These elements transform the experience of residents and guests by providing vibrant, social spaces in conjunction with the area’s infrastructural needs.