Katie Bone | August 22, 2013
The Rebuild By Design competition, launched by the Hurricane Sandy Task Force within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has selected 10 finalist teams out of 140 submissions from all over the world. The finalists must now develop innovative and scalable site-specific proposals to strengthen and rebuild the region affected by the storm. Federal Disaster Recovery funds will be used to implement winning proposals. Each team is comprised of a network of architecture and planning firms and organizations. The qualifying teams will be lead by Interboro Partners; PennDesign with OLIN; WXY Architecture with West 8; The Office of Metropolitan Architecture; HR&A Advisors; SCAPE; the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism and the Dutch Delta Collaborative; Sasaki Associates; Bjakre Ingels Group; and Unabriged Architecture. Each team faces the challenge of developing a site specific proposal, which is scalable and thus able to meet the wider needs of the region. WXY Architecture, working with West 8, has just announced their intent to focus on the category “Ecological and Waterbody Networks.” WXY wrote in a statement released by the firm, "We believe in seeking out multiple benefits for design ideas. For every dollar spent in recovery efforts, there should be a community, economic, ecological and social benefit." Inspired by their first hand experience with Hurricane Katrina, the Unabridged Architecture team is developing an integrative concept which considers rising sea levels and coastal water systems, as well as education and self-sufficiency. The Bjarke Ingels Group aims to establish a climate-resilient infrastructure which encourages the use of waterfront attractions. Some teams are focusing specifically on urban environments. The Office of Metropolitan Architecture aims to strengthen and defend high-density urban spaces, and HR&A Advisors are developing design solutions for retail-corridors and commercial areas. The contributions in research and design made by each team throughout the competition will be models for communities throughout the country as they proactively build defenses against future storms and prepare for the potential impacts of climate change.