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Daniel Horn

Daniel Horn

Brooklyn, NY, US

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Lock 3 / Normal Conditions
Lock 3 / Normal Conditions
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Reconstructing the Water's Edge

Newtown Creek, located in the City of New York, is a tributary of the East River and is part of the New York/New Jersey harbor estuary system. It forms the northern border of Brooklyn and the southern border of Queens. In the mid-1800s, the 3.5-mile creek became one of the busiest hubs of industrial activity in the country. More than fifty industries emerged along the water’s edge, including refineries, petrochemical plants, glue factories and coal plants. Massive industrial pollution resulted from this heavy activity. What’s worse, NYC began dumping raw sewage into the creek in 1856 - something that continues to this day via combined sewer outflows. Currently, factories and facilities still operate along the creek and it was proposed as a national superfund site in September 2009.

If that wasn’t enough, on October 5, 1950 an estimated 17-30 million gallons of oil leaked into the water, settling on the creek bed and seeping into the soil underneath local communities. The spill continues to burn underground to this day and is estimated to course below 55 acres of Greenpoint residential, commercial and industrial property; affecting hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses. This has all contributed to the creeks overall failure as a natural ecosystem.

Initial research focused on these issues which affect the livable quality of adjacent communities surrounding the creek and its neglected ecology. The existing post-industrial sites along the water’s edge have created sporadic pockets of "terrain vague" or areas of land that are under-utilized and undeveloped. Deteriorating bulkhead types in this fragile zone act to “shut out” the water and its dynamic natural cycles. This led me to look at a similar issue - the increase in the frequency of strong storms, much like last year’s devastating hurricane Super-storm Sandy. It was clear that I examine opportunities in this extremely vulnerable zone for a series of building interventions that work with the land and water in new ways.

New zoning patterns, community based programs, and storm surge barriers have been my primary methods of intervention. My building acts to embrace both regular tide cycles and more severe flooding events with the purpose of revealing and educating the adjacent residential population to the dangers of storm surges and sea level rise. The building is a community center and research laboratory with two goals: To conduct daily tide cycle reports and climate based research, and to give residents recreational spaces to connect with the water.

 
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Status: School Project
Location: Newtown Creek, Brooklyn, NY

 
Lock 3 / Storm Conditions
Lock 3 / Storm Conditions
Public Walkway Bridge
Public Walkway Bridge
Outdoor Cafe
Outdoor Cafe
Outdoor Cafe + Wetlands Preserve
Outdoor Cafe + Wetlands Preserve
Wetlands Nature Trail
Wetlands Nature Trail