Ecdysis “Shedding” the transitional skin of the urban fabric by adding a new layer of adaptable paths and spaces to maintain access throughout the city
- LocationHudson Yards, Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
Coastal cities such as Guangzhou, New York and Mumbai will be some of the first cities to face water levels that could render them obsolete.
The large amount of infrastructure, systems, facilities, housing and landmarks present in these cities are something that ought to be preserved. In an effort to shy away from the typical “off-shore” design proposals, ‘ECDYSIS’ (a term used for animals shedding their skin) attempts to keep cities partially functional, efficient and resilient to the effects of a changing climate.
The project targeted the main cause of a city’s malfunction during a flood:
ECDYSYS addresses the scenario of water levels exceeding the level of the city, causing all the streets, parks, buildings and public spaces to flood. The proposal introduces of a series of floating sidewalks that can expand in any direction, at any scale. The puzzle-like design allows the walkways to achieve a level of flexibility to accommodate the currents underneath without becoming a hazard to occupy. Other systems like bridges, parks, parking, water-taxi stops and public spaces can be attached to the walkways, using a similar construction system.
Although some buildings will be forced to forfeit the ground floor, others will be covered with a water-proof coating, bracing and additional walls to counteract the pressure of the water. These buildings will also provide access to nearby subway stations through the basement, allowing the street-level entrances to be sealed off completely.
Storm water drains will be sealed at the street level to prevent any organic material from entering into the channels. The existing sewer system will retain its function and processing will continue to happen at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is currently at a safe elevation.
Ultimately, the benefit of this system is that New York City will continue to function as it currently does without losing its atmosphere, way of life and bustling lifestyle.