“Swimming to Manhattan” Competition

March 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

All “Swimming to Manhattan” projects can be seen on the page on the left.

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The Winter term for the third year students of the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam is organized as a competition with twelve teams, a critical jury and an actual prize. In two intensive weeks, interdisciplinary (Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture) teams worked on intelligent and imaginative perspectives on New York’s Upper Bay. This bay, which is connected to the ocean, has been in the spotlight since hurricane Katrina. Various plans have been devised, among which the plan to supply the bay with a storm-surge barrier, and multiple plans have already been made for various parts of the coastal area surrounding the bay. In all of these design plans, protection against the rising water levels plays a key role. The assignment for the winter term revolved around the idea that the Upper Bay could become a second Central Park.

In designing this vision for the future, the following questions were to be answered: What will this new recreational area look like? How will the area be accessed? How will this new “water park” relate to all the existing developments? What will the intervention produce? In addition, the development of the new park could be linked to other current problems such as energy extraction, food production and coastal protection. The participating teams were supported by various consultants (all of whom are experts in the field) that may be seen during the course of the project. Luc Vrolijks,(Urban Progress) Thomas Oles (lector Living Landscape AvB), Lodewijk van Nieuwenhuijze (H+N+S), John Lonsdale (Achitect), Ronald Rietveld (landscape Architect) en Jeroen Aerts (VU Risk insurance and water managment). The jury was composed of Aart Oxenaar, Machiel Spaan, Marieke Timmermans, Rogier van de Berg and Cees van der Veeken (Lola Landscape Architects).

The winning entry was “Red Point Park,” by Egle Suminskaite, Jacques Abelman, Simona Serafino, Marit Janse, and Txell Blanco Diaz. According to the jury, “Red Point Park breaks with the tradition of  ‘form follows finance.’ The strategy focuses on clean and dynamic water itself rather than on the economic development of the waterfront. The plan shows a convincing development strategy for water and the harbor edges and does it in a striking way.”

All the entries are slated to be exhibited in the New York Architectural center this June 2011 in the context of a collaboration with ARCAM, the Amsterdam Architectural Center. Watch this space for further developments.


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