FRPO Rodriguez & Oriol

FAR ROC Design Competition . New York City

FRPO . + FAR ROC Design Competition

The implementation of a new urban model n the Rockaway Peninsula, in Long Island, represents a great opportunity to think about the typological models appropriate to combine urban life styles, suburban structures and high ecologic-value (and sometimes even aggressive) natural contexts

This new models should answer with simplicity and straightforwardness to this levels of complexity, assuring this way the needed continuity in terms of domestic local perception. Our proposal for Far Roc Masterplan is based on two complementary design strategies:
01. A plan organization in two different areas: a mid-density urban residential area and a nature preserved area.
02. A multi-layer lay out of the different activity levels: the original ground level, the slightly modified topography, the urban level, the community level and the housing upper levels.

Nature continuity
The concentration of mid-density building area on the most eastern side of the area provides a significant surface for nature preservation and recreational dune park. A series or ecological ravines assure the ecosystem continuity form Rockaway Beach to Jamaica Bay, favoring the storm water drainage. Further natural spaces within urban scale allows this natural continuity, finally enhanced with the elevation of the community housing level in order to assure a total landscape continuity and storm defense.
Street diagram
The new street lay out runs as an extension of the existing, plus a new avenue connecting Seagirt Blvd with Edgemere Ave through the new development. The cross between Beach Channel Dr and the railway is reorganized to create a new civic and commercial center. The railway becomes a parkway separating the urban sprawl form the nature preserve area and the beach, favoring the access to the beach and the dune park for people around the city.
The new plan provides building area for the creation of 1100 units of housing, with a mix of low to midrise buildings, as well as 370,000 square feet of commercial / recreational space, concentrated in urban clusters as small squares. The total surface of nature preserve space rises to 67 acre, adding the Ecological Ravines (11 acre), the Far Roc Nature Preservation Area (40 acre) and the Dune Park (16 acre). In addition to that, a total amount of 380,000 square feet of public and community open space lies along the residential area.

A new housing typology: flexible, domestic & simple.
We propose an innovative architectural model based on existing models within the existing domestic context. This new typology will generate urban community life out of a proper density, updating the needed uses in residential neighborhoods and, above all, this new typology will allow colonizing vulnerable shore front communities, letting nature run its course. This new architectural model is, indeed, a system that generates urban volume out of some simple steps:
01. Elevation of the ground level 4 to 8 ft in order to avoid the most frequent floods.
02. Deconstruction and further densification of the traditional local urban unit, in order to host mixed-income residential typologies.
03. Generation of a community garden level 20 ft over the ground level.
04. Naturalization - or natural evolution - of the lower level, combining slow traffic with neighbor retail and vegetation areas.

The scale, materiality and volume of this complex unit are, therefore, the result of the combination of well-known domestic and local scales, materials and volumes. The system flexibility provides a high adaptability to different contexts. The game rules allow the incorporation of every community input, as the eventual design of each unit might be the result of a combined process where developers, designers and community could decide the number and type of the residential units, the kind of community services useful at that stage and the amount of desired neighbor retail.
According to the topics already indicated in the design brief, this proposal pays special attention to Resiliency [Rs], Marketability [Mk], Sustainability [St], Contextual Sensitivity [Cs], Replicability [Rp], as explained in the model below.

Team Composition:
Pablo Oriol, Architect
Fernando Rodriguez, Architect

Inés Olavarrieta
María Domínguez
Patricia Báscones
Rocío García
Laura Ordóñez
Elena García

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