As the number of high-end residential buildings on New York City's waterfront increases, so does the need for retaining accessible public spaces in the city. In response to this, competition organizers arch out loud called upon architects and designers worldwide to send their ideas for a public aquarium complex located at an underused waterfront site at the East River and the Eleventh Street Basin in New York City.
In re-thinking the familiar aquarium typology, participants in the open ideas competition also had to integrate a public waterfront park into their designs, and examine the project's relationship to its urban context. Out of 178 submissions from 40 countries, the jury selected three prize-winners. Honorable Mentions and Director's Choice entries were also announced.
Have a look at the winning entries right below.
1st place: “NYC Aquatrium” by Piero Lissoni, Miguel Casal Ribeiro, Mattia Susani, Joao Silva | Milan, Italy
Project summary: “The project creates a dynamic system that interacts with its surroundings, offering multiple ways to experience the water world. The site is excavated to become a large and unique water basin, with the Aquarium and the Marine Centre a submerged island accessed via a pathway. A sloping beachfront covers the Parking area to form a panoramic public space, while a boardwalk surrounds the basin and becomes a floating ring connecting the two waterfronts and encompassing the Aquarium and its sliding roof, a green island that closes to become a planetarium protecting the arena and the biome domes within.”
2nd place: “Vers La Mer” by Dominik Sigg | Brooklyn, NY
Project summary: “In light of rising sea levels and flooding events threatening metropoles around the world, this proposal investigates a maritime urbanism where the built fabric of the city shifts from traditional solid ground to a floating existence in harmony with the ocean. ‘Vers la mer’ – ‘towards the sea’ utilizes the potential of the Queens riverfront and Anable basin for such an investigation. Rectilinear volumes based on the built fabric on land are coming loose and float, anchored in the enlarged Anable basin and are surrounded by a floating water garden in which the public can enjoy and experience life on the water.”
3rd place: “Merroir” by Rob Holmes, Laurel McSherry, Frederick Steiner, David Bayer | United States
Project summary: “Merroir envisions the twenty-first century aquarium as a node within larger hydrological and ecological networks, an aquarium that is not a collection of animals behind glass but rather a series of experiences and encounters with an estuary as a dynamic living system. The aquarium site is at the center of a set of thirty diving bells distributed across the metropolitan region. Three distinct bell networks offer varied experiences for visitors to engage different, dynamic ecologies: mobile bells based on aquatic habitats, cadastral bells based on the built environment, and datum bells based on bathymetry and sea-level rise.”
You can find the winners' project boards, the Honorable Mentions, and Director's Choice projects below. To see the full project details of the entries, click here.
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