The FARROC Competition posed a challenge to envision a resilient, sustainable, mixed-income neighborhood on an eighty-acre beachfront site in the Rockaways and to develop replicable infrastructure, landscape and housing ideas that can be applied to other waterfront sites in the New York City and the surrounding region. Ennead Architects/Ennead Lab responded with a proposal known as F.R.E.D. (Fostering Resilient Ecological Development).
For an urban neighborhood to remain resilient and sustainable over many generations, the underlying infrastructure and organization must allow for adaptation, accommodating long-term response to uncertain economic and environmental change. F.R.E.D. focused on two systems that have proven to be extraordinarily adaptive and resilient: the native dune ecology of barrier islands like the Rockaways and the New York City row house typology. By integrating the two, the design maximizes the benefits of coastal protection, storm water management, conservation of habitat, energy efficiency and social resilience. The resulting hybrid points to a new way of living at the beach, with a redefined relationship between building and landscape, urbanity and ecology.