CLADmag issue4 2018

Page 77

After the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, the Rockaway Boardwalk was rebuilt and designed to be a space that brings the community together

I prefer to be labelled a feminist architect than a female architect. I ’d love to work wit h more women because they bring a different perspective and this then leads to more diversity within architecture.

What has been your most challenging project? They’ve all had their challenges, but maybe the most challenging was the Sea Glass Carousel at the Battery. This is an aquatic carousel, where people sit in fish rather than horses. Digital projections add to the traditional carousel experience. Now when I cycle past, it looks really cool and it’s so gratifying to see people using it. It was an incredible public project to benefit generations to come, in a place most people would usually avoid, but there wasn’t one part of it which wasn’t a new idea. Many projects we work on already partially exist, or we’re remaking what’s already there, but no part of this had been done before. As it’s constructed from glass and stainless steel, it didn’t fit energy codes, so we had to

CLAD mag 2018 ISSUE 4

have a customised procurement process. Also, it was subject to Wicks Law, a New York law which applies to public projects exceeding $500,000. It means that prime contractors must be used for each aspect of the construction, rather than using the same company to do everything. This is in order to ensure expert performance, but it does make projects more complicated, as everything has to be separately commissioned and specified. To add to it all, it also suffered hurricane damage.

You also reconstructed the Rockaway Boardwalk after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, what did that project mean to you? This presented the opportunity to work with a community which had had its hey day and was then devastated by the hurricane – 4.8 miles of the boardwalk was destroyed. There was some pressure to just try and rebuild it quickly and cheaply,

The Rockaway Boardwalk

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, WXY was commissioned to rebuild the Rockaway Boardwalk in order to create a new leisure destination. Sand coloured concrete planks, speckled with tumbled glass, were set in a waved pattern to mirror the coastline, while glow-inthe-dark aggregate evokes the bioluminescence in the ocean. Contemporary bench seating provides places to rest and gather.

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