bjarke ingels group proposes big U to protect manhattan from storm surges
bjarke ingels group proposes big U to protect manhattan from storm surges bjarke ingels group proposes big U to protect manhattan from storm surges
apr 04, 2014
bjarke ingels group proposes big U to protect manhattan from storm surges


bjarke ingels group proposes big U to protect manhattan from storm surges
all images courtesy of rebuild by design / bjarke ingels group

 

 

 

in the wake of hurricane sandy, bjarke ingels group (BIG) has detailed plans for a 10-mile ribbon to protect lower manhattan from future storm surges and natural disasters. after months of research and exhaustive public feedback, BIG are one of ten teams presenting proposals for different sandy-affected regions, part of an ongoing initiative entitled ‘rebuild by design‘. coined the ‘big U’, the systematic approach encircles manhattan responding directly to the needs and concerns of the area’s communities. running from west 57th street south to the battery and north to east 42nd street, the project defends the region’s low-lying and vulnerable topography.

 

in addition to shielding the city, the development offers social, environmental and economic advantages, establishing the waterfront as a valuable and engaging public realm. it is envisioned that three compartments function independently, comprising physically autonomous flood-protection zones that can be individually isolated. the compartments work in unison to protect and enhance the city, yet each area is designed to operate separately.

 

 


day in the life BIG-team
video courtesy of rebuild by design

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
the battery berm weaves an elevated path through the park enhancing the public realm

 

 

 

the east and west boundaries of the battery were key inlets during hurricane sandy, allowing floodwaters to rush into lower manhattan and bring the nation’s financial district to a halt. the battery berm weaves an elevated path through the park enhancing the public realm while protecting the wall street and its surroundings. along this connected ridge, a series of upland knolls form unique landscapes where people congregate in landscaped public gardens.

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
the ridge provides pleasant and accessible routes into the park, with areas for resting and socializing

 

 

 

bridging berm offers robust vertical protection for the lower east side from both future storm surges and rising sea levels. the ridge also provides pleasant, accessible routes into the park, with areas for resting and socializing. both berms and bridges are wide and planted with a diverse selection of resilient trees, shrubs and perennials.

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
a maritime museum is to be constructed in place of the existing coast guard building

 

 

 

a maritime museum or environmental education facility, is to be constructed in place of the existing coast guard building. the form of which is derived from the flood protection at the water-oriented ground floor. this signature building features a ‘reverse aquarium’ which enables visitors to observe tidal variations and rises in sea level providing an effective flood barrier.

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
a ‘reverse aquarium’ enables visitors to observe tidal variations and rises in sea level

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
decorated by local artists, the panels create an inviting ceiling when not in use

 

 

 

between manhattan bridge and montgomery street, walls attached to the underside of the FDR drive can be deployed protecting the area from flooding. decorated by local artists, the panels create an inviting ceiling when not in use. at night, lighting integrated into the panels transforms a menacing area into a safe and secure destination.

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
walls attached to the underside of the FDR drive can be deployed protecting the area from flooding

 

 

 

‘any crisis represents a moment of great urgency but also great opportunity, as we learned from the recent success of the highline that combines a decommissioned piece of infrastructure – the abandoned elevated railway –  with a layer of public space and green landscape. we asked ourselves: what if we could envision the resilience infrastructure for lower manhattan in a way that wouldn’t be like a wall between the city and the water, but rather a string of pearls of social and environmental amenities tailored to their specific neighborhoods, that also happens to shield their various communities from flooding. social infrastructure understood as a big overall strategy rooted in the local communities’, explained bjarke ingels.

 

see here for designboom’s previous coverage of the ‘rebuild by design’ initiative.

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
the systematic approach encircles manhattan, responding directly to the needs of the area’s communities

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
the project places a great emphasis on the region’s affected communities

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
the scheme establishes the waterfront as a valuable and engaging public realm

bjarke ingels group BIG U rebuild by design manhattan designboom
the masterplan comprises physically autonomous flood-protection zones that can be individually isolated

 

 

 

the BIG TEAM includes one architecture (water & urban planning), starr whitehouse (landscape architecture), james lima planning & development (finance & economics), green shield ecology (ecology), buro happold (engineering & sustainability), level infrastructure (engineering) and arcadis (hydrologichEngineering), AEA consulting (arts & cultural planning), project projects (graphic design), and the school of constructed environments at parsons the new school for design.

 

launched in the summer of 2013, the rebuild by design competition has produced regional, cross-disciplinary collaboration between state and local governments, international design teams, educational institutions, and the public. the competition is one of the initiatives of president obama’s hurricane sandy rebuilding task force, in partnership with the municipal art society, NYU’s institute for public knowledge, regional plan association, and van alen institute.

 

 

project info:

 

project: the big U – rebuild by design
year: 2014
type: federal competition
client: u.s. department of housing and urban development
collaborators: one architecture, starr whitehouse, james lima planning + development, level infrastructure, buro happold, arcadis, green shield ecology, aea consulting, project projects, school of constructed environments at parsons the new school for design
size: 1,000,000 sqm
location: lower manhattan, new york city, USA

 

partner in charge: bjarke ingels, kai-uwe bergmann, thomas christofferson
project leader: jeremy alain siegel, daniel kidd
team: kurt nieminen, sun yifu, dammy lee, jack lipson, david spittler, kenneth amoah, choonghyo lee, wesley chiang, david dottelonde, taylor hewitt, patricia correa velasquez

 

 

UPDATE: on june 2nd, 2014 it was announced that the BIG team has been awarded $335 million USD to increase storm resiliency in lower manhattan, protecting the city against future storm surges and providing social and environmental benefits to the local community.

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bjarke ingels group / BIG (156 articles)