Swedish design firm wins competition to revitalize Rockaway site damaged by Sandy


| mhayes@queenscourier.com |

Photos courtesy of White Arkitekter
Photos courtesy of White Arkitekter

A land stretch wiped clean by Sandy is one step closer to getting a much-needed makeover.

“FAR ROC,” a design competition to revitalize Arverne East, a Rockaway waterfront town, was created post-Sandy. Over 100 entrants from 20 countries submitted plans for the 80-acre plot, but Swedish design firm White Arkitekter came out on top.

The group’s plan, “Small Means and Great Ends,” incorporates a “series of small, affordable and smart interventions,” FAR ROC said.

White Arkitekter’s strategy centers on reducing and controlling damage, providing access in the event of another storm and ensuring quick recovery.

The design intends to create a space resilient to any natural disasters and an overall “anti-fragile” community where both the design and community benefit, according to FAR ROC.

White Arkitekter’s plan includes a new, organically-developed sandbar landscape in the water, new flood-control measures, and a three-section neighborhood of large single family homes and mid-rise residential buildings.

A 31-acre nature preserve, a movie theater and a new town square near the Beach 44th Street subway station will also be included.

Additionally, its new boardwalk design has a gap on the landside and is elevated where possible to minimize the impact of storm water. The sides are permeable for water and wind, and the handrails are also designed to prevent storm damage.

The Swedish group received a cash prize of $30,000 for its design proposal. It was judged based on resiliency, marketability, sustainability, contextual sensitivity and its ability to be replicated in other sites.

There is still no guarantee that “Small Means and Great Ends” will be used in Arverne East, but developers have the option of executing it or using some elements in future designs.

 

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