On the Water | Palisade Bay

New York NY | 2007–2010

Client 2007 AIA College of Fellows Latrobe Prize
Team Leaders and Co-Authors Guy Nordenson and Associates, Catherine Seavitt Studio, Architecture Research Office

This project is the initiative of a group of engineers, architects, planners, professors, and students to imagine a “soft infrastructure” for the New York–New Jersey Upper Bay by developing the interconnected infrastructures and landscapes which rethink the thresholds of water, land, and city.

Three objectives summarize the strategies developed: Construction of an archipelago of islands and reefs along the shallow shoals of the New York–New Jersey Upper Bay to dampen powerful storm currents as well as encourage the development of new estuarial habitats; revitalization of the waterfront by designing a broad, porous, “fingered” coastline which combines tidal marshes, parks, and piers for recreation and community development; and enacting zoning formulae that adapt efficiently in response to the impact of storms in order to increase community resilience to future natural disasters. These three principles—on the water, along the coast, and in the communities—comprise a proposal for a coastal planning strategy which seeks not only to protect the New York–New Jersey region from sea level rise and storm surge flooding, but also to re-conceptualize the relationship between infrastructure and ecology in the twenty-first century waterfront city.

On the Water | Palisade Bay won the 2007 AIA College of Fellows Latrobe Research Prize, research from the study was published in 2010 by Hatje Cantz and served as the inspiration for the 2010 MoMA workshop and exhibition Rising Currents: Projects for New York's Waterfront.