Common Ground

Project catalog can be downloaded here.
Summer 2014
Arch 400, Elective Design Studio
Undergraduate Architecture

With the scars of two superstorms still visible, affected residents are awaiting government’s help to recover, repair and reconstruct their homes in the City’s vulnerable waterfront neighborhoods. These natural disasters caught NYC off guard; no one had the necessary coordination or places to go… The aftermath of hurricanes, rising water levels, rain and river floods cannot be addressed just by repairs; there is a need for strategies.

With the commitment to explore design’s response to global warming and resulting environmental impacts in Metro New York, the summer design studio returned to the same vulnerable region of Jamaica Bay and continued to build upon the experience gained during the previous one (spring of 2014). Working with Jeanne DuPont of RISE (formerly Rockaway Waterfront Alliance) and her team deepened our understanding for local challenges and opportunities.

The design studio explored forms of living-with-water in the North shore of Rockaway and the Broad Channel of Jamaica Bay.  Ideas for coastal resilience, proposed/imposed FEMA regulations and prevailing local conditions informed the work. While buildings were conceived to either float or be elevated above the BFE or DFE lines in order to survive the rising waters, renewable energy sources were integrated into designs for connectivity as innovative programs would allow buildings to transform from commercial (activity) places to emergency centers…

The studio aimed to create a go-to-place, a COMMON GROUND for ALL, which serves a dual purpose as a destination in times of disaster and during normalcy; a place where communities coalesce and draw strength but also engage in economic development as long as their beautiful waterfront towns continue to exist.

Communitys Partner:

  • RISE (formerly Rockaway Waterfront Alliance – RWA)

Professor: Zehra Kuz


Costantini Frank D.

Ho Joanne

Juncadella Carolina

Lee Sairom

Noh Keumbi

Park Jaewoo

Pieri Stacey

Pyon UnJae

Shin John

Sueldo Walter

Velasquez Oskar

Tenguerian Berj

Toja Nicole Mattos