Location: Queens (USA)
Area: 330.000 m² (81 acres)
Client: Far Roc Competition
We refer to our Far Roc Competition design strategy as Concentric Circles. An ensemble of mutually relying operations which will extend and foster a community at a variety of scales. Connected, not just physically and topographically but also socially. Resilient as a whole.
The Rockaways, much like other highly exposed coast lines in the US, requires a set of appropriate solutions to resist and manage increasingly frequent storm surges. We have purposefully opted out of “active strategies” (dams, barriers, sluices…) to instead focus on a durable & site specific urban organization where mastering topography takes center stage in creating passive and durable strategies for the entire community.
Concentric Circles offers a 3 step environmental, energy efficient urban design initiative, relying on one premise: allowing water in. In times to come, sea levels will invariably keep rising with increasing improbability as to the cycle of flooding occurrences. What makes this approach site specific is a combination of decisions which will extend an existing urban fabric in order to create a novel urban organization responding to all aspects of energy efficient design. Concentric circles is an integrated strategy; components of flood management are not singled out but designed to become an integral part of the cityscape and fused with other programmatic elements.
At Far Roc, this approach will consist of creating a new raised topography in high risk flood zones to help implement a permanent flood control system consisting of 4 micro neighborhood blocks, fully functioning interconnected islands in case of flooding. Within these islands, the urban fabric consists of mid-density building blocks. Buildings all share a party wall, promoting not just a sense of community and responsibility but allowing significant energy & systems savings. Within blocks are private communal gardens, accessible only by building residents. These gardens will also act as heat sink repellents and tree canopies will protect buildings from additional heat gain. Finally, each dwelling will follow strict zeroenergy building specifications, thus completing the Concentric Circles effort in extending an existing community into a resilient one.