Living Breakwaters on Staten Island

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green architecture, living breakwaters

Photo courtesy of SCAPE / Landscape Architecture PLLC

  • Living breakwaters on Staten Island: “The Living Breakwaters project combines coastal resiliency infrastructure with habitat enhancement techniques and community engagement, deploying a layered strategy that links in-water protective forms to on-shore interventions. As the project architect and founder of landscape architectural firm SCAPE Kate Orff explained: “We aim to mitigate the risk to humans from periodic weather extremes, improve the quality of our everyday lives, and rebuild our ecosystem. Ms. Orff envisioned a new reef culture that would function as both an ecological sanctuary and a recreational area for the public. The Oyster-tecture concept was developed as part of the MoMA Rising Currents Exhibition back in 2010, where the idea of an oyster hatchery/eco-park in the Gowanus interior would eventually generate a wave-attenuating reef in the Gowanus Bay. To study the concept’s feasibility, the SCAPE team developed a pilot project for the SIMS municipal recycling center at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park, an area used for processing metal, glass, and plastic. Working together with the facility’s expansion plans, SCAPE redesigned a 100-foot portion of the pier, rebuilding the existing infrastructure with a concrete matrix hospitable to species recruitment with the goal to create habitat hubs for marine ecosystems without interfering with working industrial piers. They used ECOncrete and recycled fuzzy rope (frayed polyethylene rope) to provide habitats for mussels, barnacles, and sponges, while accommodating SIMS’ industrial requirements. SCAPE saw this pilot project as a way to incorporate SIMS’ activities to the site’s remediation; for instance by using recycled glass as the substrate for intertidal pools, as well as to research the possibilities for biological remediation at an active industrial site. Read the full article at 6sqft: Living Breakwaters: An Award-Winning Project Brings ‘Oyster-tecture’ to the Shores of Staten Island.
Living breakwaters, green architecture

Photo courtesy of SCAPE / Landscape Architecture PLLC

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