SWIMMING TO MANHATTAN


ARCAM shows visionary plans by students of the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam for the Upper Bay of New York. A prize has been awarded for the plan: ‘Red Point Park’ by Eglé Suminskait, Simona Serafino, Marit Janse, Jacques Abelman and Txell Blanco Diaz.

The working title for the 2011 winter term of the Academy of Architecture is “Swimming to Manhattan”. This year’s winter term has been organised as a competition: with competing teams, a critical jury and an actual prize. In two intensive weeks, interdisciplinary (A, U and L) teams (which you will assemble yourselves) consisting of at least three and a maximum of four persons will work on intelligent and imaginative perspectives on a current design assignment. The participating teams will be supported by various consultants (all of whom are experts in the field) that may be seen during the course of the project.

The assignment concerns a vision for the future of the Upper Bay of New York. This bay, which is connected to the ocean, has been in the spotlight since ‘Katharina’. 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 is playing a key role.

The assignment for the winter term concerns the bay itself, the water. The Upper Bay is to become a large recreational area, bordering directly on Down Town Manhattan. The Upper Bay is to become a second Central Park. In designing this vision for the future, the following questions should be answered: what will this new recreational area look like? How will the area be unlocked? What will happen? 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 may be linked to other current problems such as energy extraction, food production and coastal protection.