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

SURF and TURF (2014 fall) was the last of the design studios coordinated under the umbrella of the RAMP initiative. SES and UA students shared a syllabus and partnered with WE ACT.

A nonprofit organization that works to inform, educate, train and mobilize the predominantly African-American and Latino residents of Northern Manhattan, WE ACT had successfully argued that the West Harlem community had more than their fair share of urban pollutants with a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), a garbage truck facility, a natural gas distribution center and a marine transfer station, all lined up between 125th and 145th streets, in addition to other toxic land uses. In this neighborhood, WE ACT was able to decommission the 135th Street Marine Transfer Station (MTS) located next to the WWTP with Riverbank State Park directly above. With the ongoing expansion of Columbia University (Manhattanville project) and the resulting gentrification, WE ACT asked our students to develop ways to reclaim the territory, benefiting the locals with greater public access to the waterfront of West Harlem. The community and other local institutions were very interested in promoting a multi-purpose facility that supports environmental education, art and culture, recreation and water-based activities, including waterway transportation.

As a studio assignment, SURF and TURF challenged us to bridge landlocked and waterborne structures, re-place and re-envision the MTS and repair the gap in the ’greenbelt’ along the Hudson River between two existing parks and engage the diverse community through innovative programs. Reviving a ferry route with connections within and beyond NYC anchors the project in the midst of the public realm.

We had several meetings with Aurash Khawarzad, then Policy Advocacy Coordinator of WE ACT, and made presentations to the WE ACT community.

Community Partner:

  • WE ACT

Professor: Zehra Kuz


Adames Will

Anderson Sorrel

Blad Ben

Cartledge Spencer

Cho Han

Choi Mia Inhwan

Corman Tuna

DeLoach Judson

Lee Chia-wei

Martir Alex

Reid Cameron

Sadruddin Neha