FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Like much of the Rockaways since the 1950s, Arverne East has faced several challenges: social, economic and environmental. The area has been virtually razed several
times over the course of its history – due to storms, fires, urban renewal and again in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy. Furthermore, the challenges of rising water levels and
increasingly unstable weather systems suggests increasing long-term threats to the survival of the Rockaways. Yet Arverne possesses a unique identity as a resort destination near bustling Manhattan, yet with direct access to long stretches of beach and Gateway National Recreation Area.
A survey of the Rockaway Peninsula reveals little consideration of the relationship between building and landscape; in most cases built fabric abuts the beachscape with a
hard, unyielding edge. In addition, current infrastructural solutions to storms and flooding often advocate raising up entire urban areas, or elevating built fabric up from the landscape. Rockaway Rising seeks to capitalize on the unique characteristics of the East Averne site – revisiting the bungalow typology, and re-envisioning the relationship between city and beachscape, while enabling resiliency to varying storm-events. Rockaway Rising brings together issues of flood management, stormwater management,
and energy generation, with programmatic strategies for recreation and small-scale economy to propose a more integrated notion of sustainability.
The proposals consists of three key interconnected urban elements—basins, boardwalks and bungalows—offering and integrating ecological diversity, environmental resiliency and urban diversity. We call the proposal “Rockaway Rising” to celebrate to re-emergence of this region following decades of significant setbacks, but also to imply an innovative response to climate change arising from characteristics specific to the Rockaways.
It has been a pleasure to work on this challenge, and to have had the opportunity to assemble such a strong team including engineers, ecologists, transportation, and
housing market specialists to address the possibility of innovation in the face of the challenge. We believe that this proposal addresses the needs of the area in a unique
contextual way. Additionally, we believe that it puts forward a model for other sites and regions in uncertain times. We look forward to bringing Rockaway Rising: A Resilient Urban Habitat to life.