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Reimagining the Waterfront: The Harlem Edge Winners Present their Proposals

(l-r) Gina Keatley, CEO Nourishing USA; Ryan A. Doyle, LEED AP, Harlem Harvest, 3rd Prize Winner; Eliza Higgins, The Hudson Exchange, 2nd Prize Winner; Yan Wang, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and Ting Chin, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP; Sym’bio’pia, ENYA Prize Winner; Meta Brunzema, RA, LEED AP; Principal, Meta Brunzema Architect, PC; Juror: The Harlem Edge Competition, Contributor: The Harlem Edge Publication

Sean Rasmussen, Assoc. AIA

Meta Brunzema, RA, LEED AP; Principal of Meta Brunzema Architect, PC; Juror: The Harlem Edge Competition, Contributor: The Harlem Edge Publication

Sean Rasmussen, Assoc. AIA

Event: The Harlem Edge Symposium
Location: Center for Architecture, 07.14.12
Speakers: Venesa Alicea, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, The Harlem Edge Competition Coordinator; Javier Carcamo, Community Board 9 Co-Chair Zoning/Land Use Committee; ENYA Competition Committee Member; Gina Keatley, CEO, Nourishing USA; Wil Rosenthal: “Harlem Edge Park”; Rafael Luna, “Greenhouse Transformer” (Honorable Mention); Samir Shah, AIA, and Tao Zhang: “West Harlem Ag-Lab + Transport Hub”; Yashar Ghasemkhani: “The New Marine Transfer Station” (Honorable Mention); Ilkay Can Standard, Assoc. AIA: “Community Transfer Station”; Davide Catenazzi and Federico Faccio: “Living on the Edge”; Brandon Zwagerman, Mike Aziz, LEED AP, and Jason Cadorette, RA: “Exchange”; Jaemin Ha: “Subaqueous Promenade”; Ryan A. Doyle, LEED AP, Guido Elgueta, and Tyler Caine, LEED AP: ‘Harlem Harvest” (3rd Prize Winner); Eliza Higgins, Cyrus Patell, Chris Starkey, and Andrea Vittadini, “The Hudson Exchange“ (2nd Prize Winner); Ting Chin, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, and Yan Wang, AIA, LEED AP BD+C: “Sym’bio’pia” (ENYA Prize Winner); Warren James, R.A., Principal, Warren A. James Architects + Planners; Juror, CIVITAS Reimagining the East River Esplanade Ideas Competition; Meta Brunzema, RA, LEED AP, Principal, Meta Brunzema Architect, PC; Juror: The Harlem Edge Competition, Contributor:The Harlem Edge Publication; Richard R. Gonzalez, RA, LEED AP, The Earth Institute, Columbia University; Contributor: The Harlem Edge Publication; Barbara E. Wilks, FAIA, FASLA, Founding Partner and Principal, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture;
Organizer: Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee
Underwriters: King Displays; Tietz-Baccon
Benefactor: Artek
Supporters: ARC TRI-STATE; Doodlit; Franke Gottsegen Cox Architects; Gensler; The Janus Property Company

The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee’s The Harlem Edge design ideas competition challenged entrants to repurpose the decommissioned West 135th Street marine transfer station as a multi-modal transit hub and urban agricultural center for a client: Nourishing USA, a non-profit nutrition advocacy organization. At the symposium, Gina Keatley of Nourishing USA likened the visionary nature of architects, whom she extolled for their ability to visualize things that do not yet exist, to her experience beginning Nourishing USA from practically nothing. Although The Harlem Edge was a design ideas competition, both Keatley and competition juror Meta Brunzema, RA, LEED AP, encouraged all entrants to channel their excitement and momentum towards actually redeveloping the marine transfer station.

The three winning entries encourage healthy living and consider waterfront development on a potentially grand scale. Ting Chin, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, and Yan Wang, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, of Linearscape diagrammed how their ENYA Prize winning proposal “Sym’bio’pia” considers the West Harlem neighborhood with the eventual goal of being replicated at other Manhattan waterfront sites. Eliza Higgins, Cyrus Patell, Chris Starkey, and Andrea Vittadini’s 2nd Prize-winning entry, “The Hudson Exchange,” addresses nutrition and health issues by linking food policy, nutrition, and health activists and experts onsite, while dealing with the Hudson River’s ecological health as a living shoreline. Ryan A. Doyle, LEED AP, Tyler Caine, LEED AP, and Guido Elgueta’s 3rd Prize-winning “Harlem Harvest” encourages sustainable and nutritional education with an onsite kindergarten, and promotes community health with floating community gardens and a year-round hydroponic vertical farm.

Richard Gonzalez, RA, LEED AP, highlighted diverse international waterfront projects, including a “lowline” in Seoul, where a highway was demolished to create a recessed waterway. Brunzema encouraged designers to better utilize waterfront sites by responding to each city’s unique DNA. Challenging young designers to think on a larger scale, Barbara Wilks, FAIA, FASLA, proposed extending the boundary of what is considered “the waterfront” to encompass blocks and whole neighborhoods. A juror for the CIVITAS Competition to reimagine Manhattan’s East River esplanade, Warren James, RA, applauded the bold interventions suggested by Joseph Wood’s wining CIVITAS competition entry, which proposed waterways connecting the East River with Manhattan’s interior.

With the imminent widening of the Panama Canal creating potentially limitless future waterfront development opportunities, it is important that design ideas competitions like The Harlem Edge pose these challenging waterfront design questions.