When Hurricane Sandy landed in New York last October, the Rockaways were among the hardest hit areas. In order to source ideas on how to rebuild resiliently on the peninsula, MoMA PS1 and the museum's Department of Architecture and Design initiated a call to the artistic, architectural, and design communities to create a sustainable waterfront recovery plan. "ex.terra" by AN.ONYMOUS was recently chosen as one of the twenty-five winning proposals. It calls for the creation of new ground elevated ten to fifteen meters above sea level, and the structural system is able to resist - and at the same time - capture the energy of the wind and the water.
“ex.terra” connects to the existing subway line, bridges and roads in the Rockaways as an anamorphic grid, plugging the city into this infrastructure with designated blocks for different uses. The solution is designed to respond to the potential climate conditions over the next two to three hundred years (versus thirty to fifty years), where the entire peninsula could be entirely under water.
Maintaining the spirit of the seaside community, the infrastructural system creates a series of boardwalks and piers along the beach to activate it, and may one day replace the beach as the new waterfront. Housing blocks would consist of about 100 units facing a courtyard. The courtyard would serve as a public community space intended for farming, gardening, recreation, public events, as well as a protected gathering space in case of emergency.
The key element of the proposed designed is the reliance on natural energy. Taking advantage of the daily cycle of nature, such as water tides, sunlight and high wind velocity, the project is able to harness these elements in order to create a self-sufficient community.