U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that New York-based team WXY+West 8 has been selected as one of 10 international teams invited to design a hurricane-proof region.
The team — led by Claire Weisz of WXY Architecture and Urban Design and Adriaan Geuze of West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture — will take part in the second and thrid stages of “Rebuild by Design,” a design competition tasked with promoting resilience for the Sandy-affected region.
The competition, sponsored by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, cbegan this month with a research and concept design phase and will conclude in February 2014 with submission of schematic proposals for site-specific design solutions.
Then, in March of 2014, winning teams will be invited to further develop design proposals for on-the-ground implementation with use of Federal Disaster Recovery Funds.
The competition process is expected to strengthen understanding of regional interdependencies, fostering coordination and resilience both at the local level and across the United States.
The WXY+West 8 Team was selected from an initial list of more than 140 firms that in July expressed interest in the competition.
“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 emphasize in the Rebuilding Strategy to be released in the coming weeks — serve as model as we prepare communities across the country for the impacts of a changing climate.”
When Superstorm Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, the weather event spanned 1,100 miles in width, with winds up to 89 mph.
While unique in her severity, Sandy’s violent impact on developed coastlines is increasingly the norm up and down the east coast.
The WXY+West 8 Team will focus on the competition category “Ecological and Waterbody Networks” and takes inspiration from the Dutch experience, leaning on the expertise of West 8 and work by Arcadis in the Netherlands, where hard science, robust engineering, and investment in infrastructure are integrated into pragmatic public spaces with multiple benefits across low lying regions.