In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York City hired a team led by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design BIG U, a flood defense scheme which will curl round the waterfront of lower Manhattan.
The 16-km development is an initiative of Rebuild By Design, which is seeking a stewardship partner to help with the first phase of the initiative, called the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.
BIG U is separated into three compartments:
- East River Park: Part of phase one, it will contain a berm, a strip of land bordering water, that will protect the lowland from storms and rising tides, while offering public space and connections
- Two Bridges and Chinatown: Moveable walls will be added to an elevated highway will stop flooding
- Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery: The Coast Guard building will be transformed into an educational maritime museum.
Other members of the BIG U team are: One Architecture, Starr Whitehouse, James Lima Planning + Development, Green Shield Ecology, AEA Consulting, Level Agency for Infrastructure, Arcadis and Buro Happold.
Construction on phase one of the project is due to start in 2019; it is unknown when it will be completed.
Images courtesy of BIG U/Rebuild By Design