The New York-Netherlands team, WXY + West 8, was shortlisted to advance to the Analysis and Design stages for the "Rebuild by Design" competition on August 9. Rebuild by Design is a four-stage regional competition to find locally contextual and resilient solutions to rebuild the Eastern Seaboard communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In the Analysis stage, the 10 teams will dedicate three months to research and analysis of the Eastern Seaboard region. After the teams have compiled their findings of the region's vulnerabilities and existing initiatives, they will proceed to the five-month Design stage where they will each create a site-specific design proposal. In the final stage, Implementation, a Jury of world-renowned experts in relevant fields will ensure that the winning projects are widely adaptable and highly effective for the region's resilience.
WXY+West 8 is one of 10 international teams selected by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Secretary Shaun Donovan out of more than 140 teams from 15 countries that entered in July. The international team of ecological and landscape design experts is led by WXY's Claire Weisz and Adriaan Geuze of West 8. Focusing on the category "Ecological and Waterbody Networks", WXY + West 8 will develop a series of adaptable prototypical transects for the shoreline to the hinterland throughout the Eastern Seaboard. Their design will also incorporate elements inspired by the Dutch experience with the expertise of West 8 and Arcadis Engineering. The nine other world-class teams shortlisted are: OMA, BIG, Sasaki, PennDesign/OLIN, HR&A, Interboro Partners, MIT/CAU + Dutch Delta Collective, SCAPE, and unabridged.
More about WXY+West 8's design approach is described below in a press release from C.C. Sullivan for WXY.
"Team Design Approach:
When Superstorm Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, the weather event spanned 1,100 miles in width, with winds up to 89 mph. While unique in her severity, Sandy’s violent impact on developed coastlines is increasingly the norm up and down the east coast. The dynamic nature of the coastal environments along this length of coastline is further complicated by wide variation in types of settlement —from the nation’s largest cities to small, beachfront communities, all featuring distinct patterns of growth. A regional scan is needed in order to adequately conceive of strategies that can house the complexity of conditions found throughout the Sandy-Affected Region.
With these issues in mind, the WXY+West 8 Team will focus on the competition category “Ecological and Waterbody Networks” and will work regionally, across political boundaries and beyond baseline protective measures. In this respect, the team takes great inspiration from the Dutch experience, and leans on the expertise of West 8 and work by Arcadis in the Netherlands, where hard science, robust engineering, and investment in infrastructure are integrated into pragmatic public spaces with multiple benefits across regions—parks, bicycle corridors, bridges, canals and floodplains visibly link settlements across the entire country. In the Dutch landscape these pieces of public infrastructure serve as daily reminders of the continued need for public engagement, maintenance and vigilance in the face of powerful climatic forces.
The WXY+West 8 Team believes in seeking out multiple benefits for design ideas—for every dollar spent in recovery efforts, there should be a community, economic, ecological and social benefit. In order to cover all bases and collect the widest potential thinking, the WXY+West 8 team is composed of a group of the eastern seaboards’ sharpest urbanists, economists, and scientists, along with their Dutch counterparts in landscape architecture, regional planning and coastal engineering—all of whom are working nationally and internationally. The team shares an understanding that complex and dynamic systems require an integrated “think tank” approach.In order to define specific sites for study, the team will first take a multivalent look at the outermost conditions of the Northeastern American Coastline—its barrier islands, inlets, wetlands, and riparian estuaries and the way they interact with settlements, towns, and the largest cities. WXY+West 8 will develop a series of prototypical transects that run from the shoreline to hinterland, providing solutions that can be adapted at other locations along the eastern seaboard."
For more details on the competition, click here.