Coney Island Revisited

Coney Island

This week, a new Streetscape Territories Research Project started in New York City: Coney Island Revisited. Since Rem Koolhaas described its historic role and context, many new challenges appeared. Starting from the increasing number of storms attacking the area’s waterfront, the ongoing rise of the sea level, the aftermath of the financial crisis and its effect on investments and real estate projects in the area, till the changing immigration waves or new patterns of the way urban space is consumed, Coney Island has definitely changed a lot during the last decades. This set of multiple challenges will be the starting point of a research and design project for the coming months, focusing on the meaning and role of streetscapes. Many actors will be involved in this project, from the inhabitants till local real estate promoters, policy makers, design and planning professionals and academics, joining a select group of students. These International Master of Architecture students (Faculty of Architecture, KU Leuven, Ghent/Brussels) will use this theme and selected area to explore, define and develop an architectural intervention in the area, working with the mentioned multiple dimensions this area’s future is defined by. Coherence, sustainability and feasibility will be important testing criteria for those projects, as well as for the Streetscape Territories project. This research and design project and the student’s Master Dissertation Projects will be linked to an International Workshop and Design Seminars, shared with local and international professionals and academics.

There are two selected study areas, both situated at the interior part of the island and characterized by a fragile connection with the mainland and with the waterfront: Coney Island Creek at the West side and Sheepshead Bay at the East side. Both areas embody an enormous potential as to their transforming industrial activity, some new commercial and leisure activities, the immediate access to nature and its metropolitan connectivity. Both areas include as well a wide range of territorial scenarios to align research and proposal approaches: from gated communities, privatization of beaches and public space, pockets of collective spaces, etc. To be continued…

Collaborators Coney Island Project: Hannes Van Damme, Pedro Dachs, Ferran Massip, Kris Scheerlinck.

Coney Island site 1site 1 CIMG7703site 1 CIMG7716site 1 CIMG7722site 1 CIMG7748

Coney Island site 2site 2 CIMG7798site 2 CIMG7817site 2 CIMG7829site 2 CIMG7850site 2 CIMG7869

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