"Can a new community center and retention facility on a heavily contaminated urban site be designed so that it strengthens the surrounding infrastructure and educates the community about the precious value of water and the environmental challenges facing the area?"
That is the question that a new design-focused competition in Gowanus seeks answers for.
Participants ranging from amateur but design-savvy neighbors to entire Ohio college curriculums have taken an interest in the future of what Gowanus Canal will look like, especially around the water and with regards to sewage overflow. Now a local advocacy group is positing the question with an incentive:
"At the canal, untreated sewage overflow at the pump station is a conduit for waste entering the local environment," said David Briggs, a leader of Gowanus By Design's Water Works competition. "At the park, filtered water from the upstate reservoir system fills a pool that supports recreation. By redirecting overflow to a retention tank where it will be stored during heavy weather events, the area in and around the park becomes an active participant in a water management solution that dramatically reduces the canal’s pollution."
A focused interpretation of the contest's goals states:
"Design entries should present site-specific solution(s) that simultaneously explore water’s role in recreation, quotidian uses, and in contaminated urban environments, and demonstrate how a redesigned community center and retention facility represent a more progressive view of our city's infrastructure," said an artist. "The jury will look for designs that explore these challenges and propose a stronger community node within an area that is slowly establishing its identity as a viable mixed-use urban neighborhood."
The awards information is as follows:
Second Prize: $1,000
Honorable Mentions: Up to six will be awarded at the discretion of the jury
In addition to the winners, a selected group of submissions will be displayed at the exhibit in early 2013. To read the complete rules and submit entries, visit www.gowanusbydesign.org/competitions
Will you be participating in this latest contest? What's your idea?