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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

“OCCUPY THE DUNE” MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas Selected Winning Proposal by Balmori Associates

 
July 18th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Balmori Associates

In March 2013, MoMA PS1 invited artists and designers to Rethink the Post-Sandy Rockaway. Organized by MoMA PS1’s Young Architects program, the competition sought ideas for alternative housing models, creation of social spaces, urban interventions, new uses of public space, the rebuilding of the boardwalk, protection of the shoreline, and actions to engage local communities and to aid in the effort to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy.

Image Courtesy © Balmori Associates

Image Courtesy © Balmori Associates

Balmori’s idea to Occupy the Dune was among the 25 proposals exhibited on Rockaway Beach. Balmori proposes an infrastructure as the center for civic activity, protecting the community while connecting it socially and ecologically. Vegetation that colonizes the dunes surface is the most critical part of the ecosystem, adding strength and stability to blunt extreme winds and storm surge.  Many inhabited coastal areas have flat beaches leaving the city and beachfront program exposed to violent storm events. Creating dunes makes these areas more resilient; however it can become an obstacle separating the community and activities from the coastal landscape.

Image Courtesy © Balmori Associates

The protected area formed between the primary and secondary dunes is less sensitive and this interstitial space becomes a linear park hosting an array of civic and recreational activities for residents and visitors. Prefabricated concrete storm drainage boxes are used to create void spaces in the base of the dunes. The ready-mades create room for different types of programs that evolve over time — temporary housing for displaced residents, community activities, cabanas, cafes, retail shops — and act as passages between city and coastal landscape. If the dune is breached, the ready-mades can be easily reorganized and the dune formation process begins again.

Image Courtesy © Balmori Associates

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