Liverpool_New York part 4: Red Hook, Brooklyn

This series features design proposals of post graduate students on the Landscape and Urbanism MA and Landscape Architecture (LI accredited) PgDip courses run here at Landscape Interface Studio, Kingston University.

 Loose Van Brunt, NY: Dima Attar

Dima Attar: Red Hook, New York

Dima Attar: Red Hook, New York

Van Brunt Street is known as the primary retail street in the area of Red Hook, Brooklyn. However, the current state of the street does not reflect such a character. This project offers an infrastructure of public spaces giving people a reason to visit Red Hook and explore the neighborhood, rather than just running errands at the new built IKEA in the area. There is a focus on inviting people to the hub of Red Hook, and giving the current residents a chance to share their goods and talents with site visitors.  The project makes Van Brunt a pedestrian street, where vehicles would cross it vertically. The street carries on the concept of Loose Space, where activities are non predictable. Pocket Parks or street enclaves provide the area for people to carry on with whatever activity seems suitable in the area, or just whatever they deem appropriate. Along the street one gets a diversity of things; restaurants, cafes, community farms, and basic activities from relaxing and reading to skateboarding and dancing. This street gains advantage from linking the waterfront all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Red Hook Dunes: John Markwell

Continuing on the general theme of flooding, and with the recent, catastrophic events of Hurricane Sandy in mind, this project aims to create a new hybrid landscape in the neighbourhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn. The project identified the existing hard and post-industrial shoreline of much of New York City as a major vulnerability to the kind of storm surge that events like Sandy can create and are likely to do again in the future.

John Markwell: Red Hook Dunes Sections

John Markwell: Red Hook Dunes Sections

In contrast to Red Hook the barrier islands and dune systems that exist further along the southern edge of Long Island are extremely efficient at dealing with damaging storms, acting to absorb and dissipate the energy brought by the sea and thereby protecting in land areas. So it is from these two disparate parts of New York that a hybrid section was created, superimposing the dunes and beaches onto the urban form of Red Hook, and allowing its existing strengths to reappear with the sands and forests.

John Markwell: Red Hook Dunes Masterplan.

John Markwell: Red Hook Dunes Masterplan.

The masterplan shows how this hybrid section could be extended to encompass Red Hook over time using satellite imagery which has been adapted to fit the design. The construction details show how this system could be constructed in the first instance, but this project is about natural processes as much as human intervention. The natural successional, maritime woodland planting is the key player in ensuring the robustness of this scheme. The roots of the trees literally becoming the glue that holds it together.

The end result is a scheme which not only helps to protect residents in this relatively deprived part of New York, but it also puts Red Hook on the map with a new coastal park and beach environment within a couple miles of Manhattan.

To read earlier posts in this series click on the following links: 

Find  more at the Liverpool_ New York blog:


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