GROW TERMINAL & GROUNDS THAT ENGAGES A VACANT MONOLITH, POLLUTED BAY, AND INTERSTITIAL SPACE BETWEEN
The polluted waters of the Gowanus Bay trace a coastal edge in the heart of Red Hook, Brooklyn. The neighborhood, already in a prolonged period of post-Sandy stasis and deindustrialization, faces compounding threats of luxury redevelopment and last-mile delivery traffic. Such warehouses contribute to an industrial barrier between waterfront and culture, further disrupting ecology. The hulking grain terminal has loomed, abandoned, since 1965. With the site now in the hands of a private developer open to radical ideas, it has become our prerogative to help the community conjure a hopeful image of a future that they desire and deserve.
Unsiloing acknowledges the gestalt of adaptive reuse where feasible, new construction where necessary, and environmental remediation wherever possible. The adaptive reuse of the terminal becomes a substantial vertical farming industry, run by Red Hook residents for the Red Hook community, no longer a food desert. Remediation efforts allow for the majority of the site to once again be overtaken by marsh ecology, proposing longer term infrastructure that will allow human and non-human species to thrive together. The bay welcomes a new port culture, as small barges carry surplus food and educational programs to other regional coastal neighborhoods in a shift from heavy to light industry. The integration of these three tenets encourages gathering, productivity, education, transparency, and collective work.
Unsiloing allows for evolution and continued adaption of public spaces as the waterfront landscape ebbs and flows along with community needs and demographics over time. Into the further future, the industrial and ecological components will optimize and settle as cultural collectives adapt to ever-changing conditions. Eventually, beyond a timeframe that any designer can conceptualize, ecology will reign and the site is destined to become ruin again. Unsiloing is a ruin-in-progress, serving the community as it slowly gives itself over to nature.
Gowanus Bay, Brooklyn