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July 24, 2013
by Daniel Fox
NYC HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua answers audience questions at the FAR ROC Phase 1 winners announcement.Daniel Fox
Tomas Rossant, AIA, AIANY Vice President for Public Outreach, and Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, 2013 AIANY President, at the FAR ROC Phase 1 winners announcementDaniel Fox
Rick Bell, FAIADaniel Fox
Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, 2013 AIANY PresidentDaniel Fox
Donovan Richards Jr., NYC Council Member - District 31Daniel Fox
Bomee Jung, Deputy Director, Enterprise Community PartenrsDaniel Fox
Ron Moelis, CEO & Chairman, L+M Development PartnersDaniel Fox
Ennead Architects' team: Andrew Burdick and Christina Ciardullo, LEED AP BD+C, with Moelis Daniel Fox
Lateral Office: Mason White, MRAIC Daniel Fox
Seeding Office: Stefano Sedda, RIBA, and Gonzalo PradesDaniel Fox
White Arkitekter: Sander Schuur, SAR MSA Daniel Fox
NYC HPD Commissioner Mathew M. WambuaDaniel Fox
Pat Sapinsley, AIA, LEED AP, co-chair, AIANY Committee on the Environment, answers audience questionsDaniel Fox
Attendees, including Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, view the four finalist teams' boards at the Center for ArchitectureDaniel Fox
F.R.E.D., led by New York’s Ennead Architects (with Langan Engineering, LERA, Atelier 10, Hargreaves, and BioHabitats)
Rockaway Rising, by Toronto's Lateral Office (with WXY Studio, Buro Happold, EDesign Dynamics, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and HR&A Advisors)
Far Rockaway, by London-based Seeding Office (with Biber Architects and Robert Silman Associates)
Small Means and Great Ends, designed by Goteborg, Sweden's White Arkitekter (with Arup and Gensler)

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” Although the quote is by Rahm Emanuel regarding the financial crisis, don’t let partisan politics cloud the message’s potency. No doubt, those directly affected by Superstorm Sandy, which brought so much devastation to New York and the region, take this to heart.

In light of the disaster, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and its partners – developers of Arverne East in the Rockaways, Queens – took this message to heart, too. They rightly stopped the project in its tracks to rethink the entire plan, venturing to do things they couldn’t do before.

To solicit the best ideas for a path to an innovative and resilient scheme, the coalition, including HPD, L+M Development Partners, The Bluestone Organization, Triangle Equities, Enterprise Community Partners, and AIANY, held an ideas competition. On 07.18.13, the four finalist teams of the FAR ROC competition’s first phase were announced at the Center for Architecture.

On hand to introduce and congratulate the finalists were HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua; Donovan Richards, Jr., NYC Council Member – District 31; Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, 2013 AIANY President; Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director; Ron Moelis, CEO and Chairman, L+M Development Partners; Bomee Jung, Deputy Director, Enterprise Community Partners; and Pat Sapinsley, AIA, LEED AP, Co-chair of the AIANY Committee on the Environment (Sapinsley, along with Ilana Judah, Int’l. Assoc. AIA, and Albert S. Wei, AICP, received the AIANY Vice President of Design Excellence Certificate of Excellence at our 146th Annual Meeting on 06.04.13 for their FAR ROC work.)

The four winning teams’ proposal names and compositions, which were chosen from 117 submissions by an all-star jury and listed in the order that they presented their designs at the Center, are: F.R.E.D., by NYC-based Ennead Architects (with Langan Engineering, LERA, Atelier 10, Hargreaves, and BioHabitats); Rockaway Rising, by Toronto’s Lateral Office (with WXY Studio, Buro Happold, EDesign Dynamics, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and HR&A Advisors); Far Rockaway, by London-based Seeding Office (with Biber Architects and Robert Silman Associates); and Small Means and Great Ends, designed by Goteborg, Sweden’s White Arkitekter (with Arup and Gensler).

“Although the jurors had to choose four proposals from 117 submissions, I wish we could have picked them all,” said Bell. “Every team presented innovative concepts that would undoubtedly make Arverne East the most resilient new development in the country. It is clear that there is a very high level of design thinking in New York and around the world, and I congratulate the four winning teams and their visions for this important project.”

Indeed, each team devised novel resiliency and design methods, which are detailed in their proposals here. You can also see television coverage of the announcement on NY 1 here. Stay tuned for the final winner’s announcement on 10.24.13 at AIANY’s annual Heritage Ball!

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