rebuild by design shortlist includes BIG, OMA + west 8  
image courtesy of andrees latif / reuters




the shortlist for ‘rebuild by design‘, a competition aimed at mending and overhauling hurricane sandy-ravaged areas, has been announced. at the behest of the president’s hurricane sandy rebuilding task force. the ten selected multidisciplinary teams are challenged to promote resilience and innovation in the area as they enter the second phase of the competition. the brief reframes the disastrous climactic event as an opportunity to protect the area from the expected impacts of climate change, sea level rise as well as resolve a range of infrastructural challenges– all through the mechanism of considered design. the call to develop regionally scalable, but site-specific solutions to strengthen the regional was met with proposals from range of local teams, university-led groups and international firms with a final selected list that includes BIG, HR&A, interboro partners, MIT/CAU + the dutch delta collective, OMA, penndesign/OLIN, sasaki associates, SCAPE, unabridged architecture, WXY/ west 8.



as globalization, urbanization, and climate change converge, shocks such as hurricane sandy will only increase in frequency, scale and impact. as a result, we must come together to design around these problems to build greater resilience within our cities. rebuild by design gives us the dynamic opportunity to uncover the innovative collaboration and connections that will allow us to strengthen our resilience as a city, a region, and a nation.

– judith rodin of the rockefeller foundation 


rebuild by design shortlist includes BIG, OMA + west 8


team BIG is led by BIG bjarke ingels group and includes one architecture (water & urban planning), starr whitehouse (landscape architecture), james lima planning & development (finance & economics), green shield ecology (ecology), buro happold (engineering & sustainability), aea consulting (arts & cultural planning), and project projects (graphic design.) the approach emphasizes social infrastructure and ‘hedonistic sustainability’ with a program that pointedly hybridizes public infrastructure with human enjoyment and makes the waterfront an attractive destination.



HR&A advisors with cooper, robertson & partners; grimshaw; langan engineering; w architecture; hargreaves associates; alamo architects; urban green council; ironstate development; new city america. the team has assembled technical experts on resiliency measures and proposes to create a network of neighborhood gathering places. understanding that retailers are particularly vulnerable due to basement-located inventory in flood-prone areas.


interboro partners

interboro partners with the new jersey institute of technology infrastructure planning program; TU delft; project projects; rfa investments; img rebel; center for urban pedagogy; david rusk; apex; deltares; bosch slabbers; h+n+s; and palmbout urban landscapes. the time-tested methods of dutch land-use planning, environmental and coastal engineering and urban water management combine with the american culture of participatory planning, community development and financial engineering to create a comprehensive flood mitigation strategy.


MIT/CAU + dutch data collective

MIT center for advanced urbanism and the dutch delta collective by zus with de urbanisten; deltares; 75b; and volker infra design. the international group will use new strategies, instruments and typologies toward an interscalar proposal for a robust northeastern seaboard.



rebuild by design shortlist includes BIG, OMA + west 8

office of metropolitan architecture with royal haskoning dhv; balmori associaties; r/ga; and hr&a advisors. the expertise of old and new amsterdam propose a design focussed on integration in high-density urban environments. the team will be working under the premise that mechanisms of defense and resilience should beget complex urban systems.



penndesign/OLIN with pennpraxis, buro happold, hr&a advisors, and e-design dynamics. the cross-disciplinary team comprised of researchers and designers aims to create a long campaign to change the region and rebuild the water culture of the area with a mix of technology and living systems. tools like charismatic soft and hybrid protection landscapes combined with the articulation of risk communication and land management policy are posited as full-scope solutions.



rebuild by design shortlist includes BIG, OMA + west 8

sasaki associates with rutgers university and arup will focus on the coastal communities of new jersey’s northern shore. regional vulnerabilities will be met with local and specific solutions.



rebuild by design shortlist includes BIG, OMA + west 8

SCAPE with parsons brinckerhoff; SeARC ecological consulting; ocean and coastal consultants; the new york harbor school; phil orton/stevens institute; paul greenberg; LOT-EK; and MTWTF. drawing from an existing wealth of pre- and post- hurricane sandy research, the strategy is centered around oyster-tecture, the team’s vision for protective living reefs in the NY harbor. the systen integrates natural and infrastructural systems and ties ecological regeneration to coastal protection strategies, public space imperatives, and community-scaled actions.


rebuild by design shortlist includes BIG, OMA + west 8


unabridged architecture with mississippi state university; waggoner and ball architects; gulf coast community design– dealing with the challenges of hurricane katrina has given the team a new expertise in armored structures, lines of defense, continuity of operations, strategies for water management, and engaging the community in ways that are intrinsic to design. resiliency relies on buildings—secure, accessible, failsafe—to remain intact and operating, in places that are truly central to the community recovery, within the context of a dynamic landscape. in coastal communities these necessarily have multiple functions: first-responder facilities, housing, clinic, café, day care, library, and job training. their concept for hot spots integrates shelter, self-sufficiency, education, mixed uses and coastal water systems into a single, project-scale prototype that is defiant in the face of rising sea levels; resistant to wind, temperature, and impact; and flexible enough to accommodate rapid changes to the program when emergencies occur.


WXY/ west 8

the WXY/west 8 team’s approach will take a multivalent look at the outermost conditions of the northeastern american coastline—its barrier islands, inlets, shorelines and riparian estuaries, and the way they overlap with the infrastructure and footprints of settlements from town to the largest cities. their methodology will take a regional approach, investigating a series of prototypical transects that run from the shoreline to hinterland.



rebuild by design shortlist includes BIG, OMA + west 8