The winner of the "For a Resilient Rockaway" (FAR ROC) design competition has finally been decided and the grand prize went to White Arkitekter for its simple and thoughtful design. The Swedish team won the competition with their “Small Means & Great Ends” concept to re-design an 80-acre Arverne East portion of the Rockaways into a resilient waterfront development. Ennead Architects, Lateral Office, and Seeding Office also earned top spots among the total 117 entries from 20 countries. But in the end, White Arkitekter won out as the FAR ROC jury favorite for its small and affordable but smart vision of a more storm-resilient Rockaways.
The “Small Means & Great Ends” design originated from the philosophy to introduce a plan that incorporates small changes that are adaptable, feasible, affordable and smart. For starters, to help protect the coastline, White Arkitekter proposed building unobtrusive storm surge buffers by using natural sandbanks.
To build a stronger community, the plan would also introduce more affordable housing interconnected by public spaces. The concept also includes a number of new neighborhood centers including a community center as well as another for conferences and learning. The most interesting architectural structure of the proposal is an Arverne East Center, which will provide commercial space for everything from a hotel to a cinema to sports facilities.
As the winner, White Arkitekter received a $30,000 prize from the competition’s sponsors, Enterprise Community Partners and AIANY. From here, White Arkitekter will have the chance to engage with the city, L+M Development Partners, the Bluestone Organization and Triangle Equities to discuss the possibility of bringing its ideas to reality. If the proposal makes its way into the production and construction phase, the final development plans may also incorporate concepts from the other three finalists. The property will be developed as a mixed-use, mixed income property with at least 20 percent of the units set aside as affordable housing to help address the growing needs of the Rockaway community.
Images © For a Resilient Rockaway