PS1 will install a smaller version of its VW Dome in Rockaway Beach to host competition events and provide a relief tent. Photo courtesy of MoMA PS1.
Beyond the very pressing need to restore electricity, gas, and subway service to the parts of New York still reeling from Sandy, the larger problem of how to build more resilient communities remains. "The biggest question is: How do you build a sustainable, protected, eco-friendly coastline that's not going to be swept away?" says MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach.
To spark a larger conversation about smart rebuilding in Rockaway, Queens, MoMA's architecture and design department and PS1 announced a call for ideas. The museum is inviting artists, architects, designers, and the general public to submit proposals for protecting the coastline, rebuilding the boardwalk, devising alternative housing models, creating new social spaces, and more. The deadline is March 15, so get on it!
Come April, PS1 will set up a smaller version of its VW Dome, the outdoor pavilion that houses its winter Sunday Sessions series, in Rockaway Beach. Dubbed VW Dome 2, this temporary space will host lectures and presentations of the competition's 25 finalists. The dome will also offer relief services and serve as a cultural space and a community meeting place. "The biggest uniting force and the biggest social space in Rockaway was the boardwalk," says Biesenbach. "Rockaway used to have something like what New York City has with the High Line—this long social space—and it's gone. What we are offering is a destination, something beautiful, so you can just sit down and have a coffee and get informed and meet your neighbor."
Photo via Brooklyn Brewery
A jury including Biesenbach, along with curators Barry Bergdoll, Peter Eleey, Pedro Gadanho, Niklas Maak, Hans Ulrich Obrist, plus several urban planners, architects, and designers, will highlight projects from the open call. Biesenbach hopes to attract ideas at all scales, from individual gardens to infrastructure improvements. "Why are electricity, gas, and everything in the basement? How do you create a sustainable infrastructure with energy, with transportation, perhaps with solar power?" he asks. "How do you think about urban planning so that you don't put the most fragile communities right on the ocean front without any protection?"
Photo courtesy of MoMA PS1.