Watering Mound

2013

 

Location    Brooklyn, NYC

Typology   Sports Facility, C.S.O

Status        Idea Competition (Honorable Mention)

After the catastrophic tragedies of Hurricane Sandy, it seems clearer that in order to strengthen the city’s resiliency against such events, the urban infrastructure needs to be more responsive and adaptive. Retrofitting and renovating existing infrastructure requires a dual approach that involves active (artificial) and passive systems (natural). This process must also facilitate neighborhood revitalization efforts creating a new sense of place in an area abandoned by heavy industry. The proposal aims to incorporate a water reclamation process with required programs in an integrative formal gesture; draping a surface over the site. It creates a mound with an optimal volume when the surface covers the entire block and strives to visualize the processional remediation, bind the friendlier programs together, and redefine the meaning of the place for recovery. The visitors experience an entangled combination of programs as well as witnessing the water cleansed.

PHYTOREMEDIATION PROCESS Passing through the first cleaning phase of the runoff filled in the underground water tanks, C.S.O facility pumps it up towards the surface near the upper perimeter above the pool area. Water then cascades down the inscribed surface into an array of cavities filled with gravel and sandy soils populated with various perennial plants. Aimed at collecting heavy metals and other course elements, this flows next into a series of sandbar formations. More grasses and ornamentals planted in sandy, clay soils help further filtration concurrently as protrusions function as artificial weirs. As the water nears the shallower bottom area of the mound, the velocity slows to a gradual pace. The clay, silty soils along with deep rooting trees and fragrant shrubs, ameliorate the cleansing process by absorbing finer grain, organic matter from the water.

PROGRAM The outdoor sports activities are arranged on the western half of the site with stepped resting place surrounding the ocular shaped pool area. Around the mound itself, the steps intertwine around ribbons of ornamental and fragrant shrubs and grasses with a running track at the perimeter. Beneath the mound juxtaposes the indoor programs such as a multi-functional gym, administration, and educational spaces, and the C.S.O facility. This C.S.O combined natural water filtration processes on the artificial surface intend to merge an infrastructural component into an approachable field of landscaped programs while beginning the reclamation process of the Gowanus Canal.