OMA and BIG to rebuild
Sandy-affected communities

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Rebuild by Design

News: architecture studios OMA and BIG are among the ten collaborative design teams selected for an initiative to revitalise parts of the USA devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

The Rebuild by Design competition was launched in June by US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Shaun Donovan and asked architects, landscape architects, engineers and urban designers to come up with proposals that would help revitalise communities affected by the hurricane that struck the east coast in October 2012.

Danish studio BIG and Dutch firm OMA were both named on the shortlist, alongside New York studio WXY Architecture, landscape architects West 8 and a design team from the University of Pennsylvania.

The ten teams will spend the next three months studying the region and building relationships with local stakeholders. Designs will be focused on four areas: coastal communities; high-density urban environments; ecological and waterbody networks; and the unknown and unexpected.

"The projects that come out of this competition will save lives and protect communities in this region and - as the Task Force will emphasise in the Rebuilding Strategy to be released in the coming weeks - serve as models as we prepare communities across the country for the impacts of a changing climate," said Donovan, who also chairs the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.

Implementation of the resulting designs will begin in March 2014, funded in part by community grants.

Top image of Hurricane Sandy devastation courtesy of Shutterstock.

Read on for more information and to see the full shortlist:


Ten design teams selected to proceed to stage two of Rebuild By Design competition

The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force has announced the selection of ten Design Teams to proceed to Stage Two of REBUILD BY DESIGN, a multi-stage regional design competition that will develop innovative projects to protect and enhance Sandy-affected communities. U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, who also chairs the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, launched the competition on June 20, 2013 in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation.

Over 140 potential teams from more than 15 countries submitted proposals, representing the top engineering, architecture, design, landscape architecture and planning firms as well as research institutes and universities worldwide. Thanks to the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation and JPB Foundation, as well as the New Jersey Recovery Fund and the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, ten Design Teams will participate in an intense eight-month process broken into two distinct stages: analysis and design.

"The ten teams we selected stood out because of the talent they bring to the table, their pioneering ideas and their commitment to innovating with a purpose and competing not just to design but to build something," said Secretary Donovan.

"The projects that come out of this competition will save lives and protect communities in this region and - as the Task Force will emphasise in the Rebuilding Strategy to be released in the coming weeks - serve as models as we prepare communities across the country for the impacts of a changing climate."

"As cities around the world face increasing shocks and stresses, it is more critical than ever that we find ways to integrate resilient design into our urban future,” said Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation. "The Rebuild by Design competition is an innovative model, bringing together some of the greatest minds around the world to improve how our cities manage, cope with and bounce back stronger from disasters. I am confident that the ten extraordinary teams chosen will create innovative and replicable projects that will strengthen our cities and help them thrive in the face of climate change.”

"Hurricane Sandy brought to the fore difficult and challenging questions for the metropolitan area," said Robert D. Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association. "The Rebuild by Design competition is an important and innovative process to bring design professionals and the affected communities together to deliver the best answers."

David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute, said, "By bringing together local communities with world-class, interdisciplinary design teams, we aim to produce extraordinarily innovative projects that highlight next generation perspectives and trends that will catalyse regional approaches to resilience for the United States and beyond."

Eric Klinenberg, Research Director for Rebuild by Design's Research Stage and Director of NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge, said, "Rebuild By Design is an unprecedented opportunity to think deeply about the great challenges for cities as the climate changes, and to act boldly, too. We look forward to learning from communities and working collaboratively with the Design Teams as we spend the next several months bringing positive action throughout the region."

"MAS heralds the leadership of the Hurricane Sandy Task Force, and its philanthropy partners, in challenging the world's best planners and designers to work with communities and develop innovative approaches " said Vin Cipolla, President, Municipal Art Society of New York. "Our priority is to strengthen the capacity of local communities across the city and region to build their environmental, economic, social and cultural resilience. RBD brings tremendous resources and expertise into the city and region."

The selection of the teams marks the beginning of the second of four phases of the design competition, which will ultimately result in resilience projects that will be built or implemented in communities in the Sandy-impacted region:

Stage Two: Analysis

Starting today, the Design Teams will begin a three-month research and analysis process, facilitated by New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK). IPK, known for bridging the gap between serious scholarship and practical action, will present the outcome of Stage Two in a detailed report cataloguing the Design Teams’ research reports and synthesizing their findings into one resource kit for local communities throughout the region.

Stage Three: Design

Building off the comprehensive analysis of the region’s vulnerabilities and existing initiatives developed during Stage Two, each Design Team will then work on one site-specific design proposal. Design Teams will partner with a local or state government entity to identify specific sites and projects that will improve the resilience of communities. During this stage, the Regional Plan Association, Municipal Art Society of New York and Van Alen Institute will collaboratively facilitate this design process for the teams to develop implementable solutions for the opportunities they identified in Stage Two.

Stage Four: Implementation

The projects that come out of this innovative process will be evaluated by the Rebuild by Design jury – made up of world-renowned experts in hazard mitigation, resilience, public health, landscape architecture, urbanism, real estate, design, and other fields – to ensure that winning projects are implementable and have the maximum impact on the region’s resilience.

Background on Design Teams:

  1. Interboro Partners with the New Jersey Institute of Technology Infrastructure Planning Program; TU Delft; Project Projects; RFA Investments; IMG Rebel; Center for Urban Pedagogy; David Rusk; Apex; Deltares; Bosch Slabbers; H+N+S; and Palmbout Urban Landscapes.
  2. PennDesign/OLIN with PennPraxis, Buro Happold, HR&A Advisors, and E-Design Dynamics
  3. WXY architecture + urban design / West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture with ARCADIS Engineering and the Stevens Institute of Technology, Rutgers University; Maxine Griffith; Parsons the New School for Design; Duke University; BJH Advisors; and Mary Edna Fraser.
  4. Office of Metropolitan Architecture with Royal Haskoning DHV; Balmori Associaties; R/GA; and HR&A Advisors.
  5. HR&A Advisors with Cooper, Robertson, & Partners; Grimshaw; Langan Engineering; W Architecture; Hargreaves Associates; Alamo Architects; Urban Green Council; Ironstate Development; Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation; New City America.
  6. SCAPE with Parsons Brinckerhoff; SeARC Ecological Consulting; Ocean and Coastal Consultants; The New York Harbor School; Phil Orton/Stevens Institute; Paul Greenberg; LOT-EK; and MTWTF.
  7. MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism and the Dutch Delta Collective by ZUS; with De Urbanisten; Deltares; 75B; and Volker Infra Design.
  8. Sasaki Associates with Rutgers University and ARUP.
  9. Bjarke Ingels Group with One Architecture; Starr Whitehouse; James Lima Planning & Development; Green Shield Ecology; Buro Happold; AEA Consulting; and Project Projects.
  10. Unabridged Architecture with Mississippi State University; Waggoner and Ball Architects; Gulf Coast Community Design; and the Center for Urban Pedagogy.
  • jon z.

    If OMA gets any responsibility for the final architecture and the student centre at IIT is any point of reference, these communities will look like a hurricane hit them again in 10 years.

    • I-Canada

      I don’t understand why some people can be so demeaning and negative.

    • Davvid

      What are you talking about? The IIT campus looks fine.

  • BIGfan

    Is the photo above a rendering of the grand plans from OMA and BIG? They are so avant-garde, so brilliant! The key is to make a statement, and boy are they ever great at that!