Rising Currents: Projects for the New York Waterfront


As part of its 2010 exhibit “Rising Currents: Projects for New York`s Waterfront,” the Museum of Modern Art commissioned ARO to re-imagine Lower Manhattan in response to rising sea levels. This proposal rethinks the relationship of the built city to the water`s edge, creating a network of tidal salt marshes and parks to protect the urban infrastructure from storm surge. Two years later, after Super-Storm Sandy hit New York, the prescience of the project and the importance of its ideas came to the fore.The Museum of Modern Art invited Architecture Research Office and dlandstudio to participate in this 2010 exhibition. Based on ARO's previous research into climate change's impact on the city (with structural engineer Guy Nordenson's Latrobe Prize fellowship team), the exhibition presents the work of five teams of design teams who have each reinvented sites throughout New York City in response to rising sea levels. The site assigned to ARO and dlandstudio is Lower Manhattan. ARO's proposal consists of two basic components that form an interconnected system: porous green streets and a graduated edge. Their new conception of what a “street” is will not only provide productive park space within the city, it creates a network of absorptive green surfaces. On the edge of the island, three interrelated high-performance systems are constructed to block higher sea levels and mitigate storm surge force and flooding: a productive park network, freshwater wetlands, and tidal salt marshes. The above- and below-ground performance of the city can be supported by a newly integrated and mutually beneficial infrastructure.

Exhibited, 2010


Old - AIANY Chapter Design Award in 2011
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