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NYRP Announces Bade Stageberg Cox Winner of EDGE/ucation Pavilion Design Competition for Storm Resil


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Non-profit to implement emerging architecture firm’s vision for innovative, flood-resistant outdoor classroom and boating facility in Sherman Creek Park

NEW YORK, NY. December 2013. – New York Restoration Project (NYRP) recently announced architecture firm Bade Stageberg Cox (BSC) as the winner of the EDGE/ucation Pavilion Design Competition, a call for a state-of-the-art, flood-resistant outdoor recreation and learning center at Sherman Creek Park. With sustainable design and layout, and porous building materials that complement the natural environment, BSC’s vision outfits the flood plain with permeable landscaping and learning stations. NYRP educators will expand programming with interactive curriculum that encompasses ecological field study with local youth. The Pavilion will increase access to the waterfront, promote environmental stewardship and education, and revive recreational rowing, once vibrant in this part of the Harlem River.

In July, NYRP launched the competition to ensure storm and social resilience along the Harlem River shoreline at Sherman Creek Park, located in Inwood/Washington Heights, traditionally an under-resourced region of New York City. In response to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposition to increase resilience of infrastructure citywide, NYRP invited eight emerging NYC-based architecture firms to participate. In September, NYRP shortlisted BSC along with three other finalists, Desai/Chia Architecture, Urban Data + Design, and WORKac. These submissions were reviewed by a jury that included NYRP Founder and Board Member, Bette Midler, and world-renowned architects, sustainability experts, and civic decision-makers, including NYRP board members Todd DeGarmo, CEO and Principal of Studios Architecture, and Ed Hollander, President of Edmund Hollander Landscape Architects, as well as John Rhea, Board Chairman of NYC Housing Authority, and Christopher Sharples, Principal of SHoP Architects. Susanna Sirefman of Dovetail Design Strategists served as the competition advisor overseeing the development and management of the competition. The eight firms that participated in the competition will showcase their work at an upcoming exhibition about storm-resilient design at the American Institute for Architects’ Center for Architecture starting February 6, 2014.

“We’re thrilled to see such innovative and creative proposals responding to our call for storm-resistant architecture on the banks of the Harlem River,” said Amy Freitag, NYRP Executive Director. “BSC’s thoughtful approach to providing access to the water's edge directly responds to the city's call for resilient design, making Sherman Creek Park a spectacular destination for local residents, students, rowers and anyone who seeks to discover the Northern Manhattan waterfront park.”
The Pavilion’s site, currently known as the “Former Boat Club Site,” is a flood plain zone frequently inundated by storms and tides. Entitled Edge Portals, BSC’s winning design incorporates flooding as an integral part of the life cycle of the architecture. It consists of two buildings, an open classroom and a boat storage building, situated along the site’s newly constructed shoreline. The layout places the buildings on twin peninsulas at the water’s edge and orients the structures towards the water, creating a direct connection with the river. 

“We chose to site the buildings on the peninsulas where the land interlocks with the river, directly engaging the waterfront and highlighting the relationship between the city and the river,” said Tim Bade, Principal at Bade Stageberg Cox. “Together, the classroom and boathouse form a threshold between land and water.” 

To address flooding, the classroom and boat storage building are constructed with a metal skin made of expanded weathered steel panels, with slotted openings that allow water to flow in and out freely.  In addition, a cistern will store and reuse stormwater for garden irrigation, and a rock garden at the site’s lowest elevation will collect storm water and run-off. 

In addition to its storm resilience, the Pavilion also allows NYRP’s education team to embrace the natural environment and storm events as learning opportunities. The open classroom will have sustainable features that complement and interact with the natural environment, such as a rainwater skylight to provide natural light within the space and act as a rainfall gauge, and water tables at which children can conduct water testing and analyze microbial samples with microscopes. 

The design incorporates a ‘science cove,’ a waterside classroom for educational programming and active engagement with the river. This cove is created by passageways leading from the peninsulas to a floating dock. It will host a variety of activities, including seining, wildlife observation, oyster gardening, and boating instruction protected from boat wakes and river turbulence. In addition, the site will feature:

    benches that also function as 100-year flood markers;
    ‘tidal mirrors’ that will capture water and mark high and low tides;
    and a solar garden with photovoltaic panels that will power path and building lighting.

Together, the buildings and landscape offer rich opportunities for boating, recreation, and the exploration of nature and science. With goals to secure funding for the project, with costs estimated between 1 million to 1.5 million dollars, the new site will harbor a vibrant waterfront culture that has been absent from this region for decades. 

The Former Boat Club Site was a major center for rowing and other water sports along the Harlem River throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and was home to several dozen boat clubs until the 1950s. Throughout the decades following, the area became an illegal garbage dump before NYRP intervened and partnered with NYC Parks to conduct a massive cleanup project in 1996. The group removed tons of debris, silt and toxic waste, and replanted the shoreline with native plant species. The park is currently maintained by NYRP, and encompasses five beautifully reclaimed acres, with a cherry tree grove, a saltwater marsh, a children’s learning garden, the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, a scenic bike path, a freshwater pond, and more. 

About New York Restoration Project (NYRP)

Founded by Bette Midler in 1995, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming open space in under-resourced communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. Unlike traditional conservancies that care for a specific place, NYRP is the only New York City conservancy that works citywide, bringing private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support. NYRP is also the leading private partner of the City of New York in MillionTreesNYC – an initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City’s five boroughs. To learn more, please visit http://www.nyrp.org.

About Bade Stageberg Cox (BSC) 
Bade Stageberg Cox is an award-winning architecture office based in New York City and led by principals Tim Bade, Jane Stageberg and Martin Cox. The firm has been recognized for its approach to the design of spaces for culture and the arts, with projects ranging from temporary interventions and art installations to designs for nonprofits, galleries and museums. The design philosophy of the firm is based on a commitment to each project’s unique site, program and cultural context.  Through conceptually-driven explorations of material, light and form, the firm aims for richer experiences and broader meanings. BSC has been pursuing research related to the future of the NYC waterfront since 2009, when the firm was invited to submit for MoMA’s Rising Currents exhibition. In the fall of 2012 the partners led a graduate design studio at Cornell which explored, post-Hurricane Sandy, the potential for resilient public open space coupled with new forms of industry and marine infrastructure on the Newtown Creek.  For more information about BSC, visit bscarchitecture.com.


Anne Tan | PR Officer, NYRP
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