What Would NYC’s 6th Borough Look Like? Here Are 4 Ideas

The 2012 ONE PRIZE design competition, calling for new visions for NYC's waters as well as a potential sixth borough, has announced the winning teams.

We love the waterfront. It’s a great place to walk the dog, stroll with your love, and work up a sweat. And for about as long as New Yorkers have lived on the water’s edge, there have been ideas on how to make ours a city of the sea.

This past Wednesday evening, the 2012 ONE PRIZE design competition, organized by TERREFORM1, announced their winners, teams who came up with new visions for the waters of New York and how those ideas might create a Sixth Borough. At the AIA Center for Architecture on Laguardia Place, we learned the names of the winning team, and three honorable mentions. And while the exhibit is not particularly engaging, all the information from the winning teams and also (at this time) the semi-finalists can be examined online with high resolution PDF downloads.

Team Parallel Networks

The winning team, Parallel Networks, from Canada, impressed the judges with their “synthesis of economy, environment, transportation, and recreation in a versatile, attractive proposal. A scalable, flexible design, Parallel Networks remained compellingly feasible with an exciting public space integrated with energy production, water cleansing, and habitat creation.” –ONE PRIZE

Video showing the jury debating the finalists – http://youtu.be/ctKh_jx01HM

With every competition, there is of course someone who wins, but the honorable mentions also convey fascinating ideas and designs that are worth our attention.

The first of three Honorable Mention teams is Walk On Water (W.O.W.) NYC by RUX Design LLC, a proposal that looks at linking Manhattan and Brooklyn together over the East River with a series of floating structures and connections that permit water traffic to float both above (bridge sinks) or below (elevated bridge).


Walk On Water (W.O.W.) NYC

The second Honorable Mention went to Enhancement of Estuary and Ecological System by the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design. This proposal focuses on the softening of the NYC coastline, moving past hard edge infrastructure, with stepped tidal flats, a reintroduction of upload hydrology, and floating wetlands.


Enhancement of Estuary and Ecological System

The third Honorable Mention, Network Urbanism, by JDKP, focuses on crowd-sourcing technology as a means for creating a waterfront network that implements user-driven planning to develop transportation networks. I spoke with a couple of the members of this team, some young designers from Colorado, about their experience. “I’m hoping for some dialogue with the jury members” said Paul McBride, the P in JDKP, “I would like to see where things go and see what happens with potential development of the ideas [from the competition].” I also spoke with Dusty (Dustin Buck), and met Kendall Goodman. They were all really excited to be here in New York City, talking about the experiences they had on the streets of out city and could not wait meet with other competition participants and to see what might happen with their ideas.


Network Urbanism


ONE PRIZE 2012 Winners & Honorable Mentions at Award Ceremony

All the teams of the ONE PRIZE 2012 competition deserve recognition for their hard work and the contributions that their ideas will bring to the field through their own design work and the work they do with others. And while competitions do have winners and losers, ultimately the flexing of creative muscles, the expanding of ideas, and the opportunity to share those thoughts with the world are the real rewards of design.

Congratulations to all the teams, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll see your ideas floating in the waterways of New York City.

Categories: Cities, Landscape