Project By Eissa Attar and Liam Smith
Our current environment is a reflection of the excessive amounts of power and control humans have felt over nature. We recognize that nature has the innate ability to serve as architecture herself; and as architect’s we seek full responsibility to work with the environment while imposing new experiences for both the human and non human. With this we want to acknowledge the local indigenous tribe of the land, being the Canarsie tribe. The land they lived on was marshy, seeded will grasses and native plants. Community is centered at the connection of land and water as through history Red Hook evolved.
The site and red hook at large faces great danger in the future of flood waters upwards of 4 feet high. Water is still the best way to access red hook, via the South Brooklyn Ferry from wall street. The cranes tower over you as you enter a different nook of New York. A place open to the sky. Brick is what fills the layer just beneath one’s foot. Brick is the character of the neighborhood; each design is a pride of the bricklayers. As it weathers; vegetation finds home on it.
The Split is a Community Library and Open studio for youth residents to come and find sanctuary in. One walks onto the pathway and finds themselves surrounded in a landscape bringing you to the central entries. We wanted to delineate the floodplain in our structure. Arches are prevalent in the neighborhood and we explored having these lift our building up to the floodplain. In the winter, community members and citi bikers are welcomed into the nook as it protects them from the different weather conditions.This would allow for flood waters to arrive and recede with ease while keeping the building dry. From this realization, the under crawl space of our structure becomes space for rats to inhabit. The landscape is full of purple lovegrass, hostas, yellow iris, native grasses, honey locust trees, and much more specific to the salty soil conditions. We would aspire for the project to be the sanctuary we imagined it to be; for the non-human and human. For the trees to grow tall, the roots to reinforce the earth, the plants happy and healthy. In the next superstorm, it will be a safe place and point of refuge for materials and emergency supplies for the red hook community.
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