Phase 1 complete for the future of the Rockaways
by Andrew Shilling
Jul 24, 2013 | 2909 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua
HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua
Councilman Donovan Richards thanks the FAR ROC jury and submitters for their interest in rebuilding the peninsula.
Councilman Donovan Richards thanks the FAR ROC jury and submitters for their interest in rebuilding the peninsula.
Affordable housing bungalows, nature preserves and raised boardwalks are the hypothetical future for the devastated shoreline of the Rockaways.

Four finalists were selected out of 117 submissions from nearly 20 countries around the world for the bid on rebuilding a resilient and sustainable living environment for the people of the Rockaways.

Their goal is to successfully transform an innovative yet affordable waterfront development on an 80-acre site called Arverne East into a mixed-use, mixed-income and stormproof community near Rockaway Park.

Those selected in Phase I of the two-phase “For a Resilient Rockaway” (FAR ROC) international design competition were New York’s Ennead Architects, the Toronto design firm Lateral Office, the London-based architecture firm Seeding Office, and White Arkitekter from Goteborg, Sweden.

Chosen by a jury representing Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), The Bluestone Organization, Triangle Equities, American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIA New York) and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise), the groups will now get a chance to dig deeper into their plans.

“Hurricane Sandy did not back us away from the waterfront and its development, but the intensity of the storm and the terrible damage we saw all day after reminded us that intelligent shorefront design is essential to our future,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew Wambua at the jury’s announcement last week at AIA New York in Manhattan. “These ideas have the potential to not only guide development and protect property, but most important of all, they could save lives.”

Following the ceremonies, each of the four finalists received $30,000 to further their design proposals and traveled to the site to meet with the community.

Councilman Donovan Richards looked at the project as something positive to take away from the devastation left behind from Superstorm Sandy.

“Many people are still trying to rebuild their lives as we speak, but it (the storm) also afforded us the opportunity to receive federal dollars that would not have necessarily been available,” Richards explained. “Looking at this project, we are going to do some amazing things in the months and years to come.”

The FAR ROC jury will announce the winner of the competition on October 24, and grant an additional $30,000 prize.

“Although four teams were chosen, I wish we could have picked them all,” said Rick Bell, executive director of AIA New York. “Every team presented innovative concepts that would no doubt make Arverne East the most resilient new development in the country.”

Check out the submissions and vote for your favorite plan at or tweet the jury @FarROCdeign for additional feedback on the project.

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