STUDIOTJOA Diversity Badge

Female owned

Boulder, CO


Gowanus By Design: Water_Works

1st Place Entry - Urban Ecology Category

Project Brief:

The proposed design of the Gowanus Recreational Community Center is an Eco-friendly passive system for cleansing the outflow from the RH-034 outlet and a reservoir capable of mitigating 100 year storm surges while creating a peaceful oasis of green space and water recreation for the neighborhood.

Recent weather events have proven that the New York City area is becoming more prone to the impact of global climate change.  The borough of Brooklyn has been drastically affected by Hurricane Sandy and the area around the Gowanus Canal was no different.  In order to mitigate the contamination of the canal via the RH-034 outlet a passive containment and treatment system has been placed at the head of the canal.  Through the various passive screens and filters, the overflow effluent moves from one container to another within the passive system.  Flora and bacteria will are used throughout the system to help clean the effluent, thus resulting in the final output of clean water which empties into the canal.  This passive system treats the outflow at the source of the canal rather than expending the energy to pump it to the Red Hook Treatment Plant.  The design mediates the odors through passive air filters and the planting of highly fragrant plants on the facilities roof and surroundings which can be tended to by neighbors of the canal and the Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus.

With the increased frequency of strong storms and hurricanes making landfall in the North East, areas such as Long Island Sound and the Gowanus Canal need to address the influx of storm surges and flood waters along its boundaries.  Recently, the Gowanus Canal reached peak water levels flooding its banks and surrounding areas.

In the development of the Recreational Community Center site, the site is excavated in such a way that it can double as an emergency overflow reservoir for the canal during extreme storm surges. The excavated area can accommodate 100 year storm situations and is intended to mediate the flooding of the Gowanus shore line in order to protect the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. The 5 million gallon reservoir can mitigate a rise of 3’ above the designed high tide for the entire canal. Once the surge has ended, pumps can then return the overflow back to the canal.

Read more

Status: Competition Entry
Location: Brooklyn, NY, US
Firm Role: Project Designer
Additional Credits: Team: Audrey Worden, Alex Worden

Competition Board
Competition Board