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HUD-Sponsored Sandy Design Competition Selects 10 Finalists

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After Hurricane Sandy sucker-punched the Northeast, design competitions to spur sustainable, storm-resistant changes and development began popping up all over the place. Today, one of the larger competitions, Rebuild By Design sponsored by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Renewal, announced the 10 teams that will move forward in the four-part challenge. Architects were tasked with creating projects that would directly respond to the region's storm-protection needs with a system that could be implemented on a large scale.

More than 140 proposals came from 15 countries. The 10 finalists will now embark on three months of research to create a detailed report of their plans, which will be followed by a five-month design period. Then a jury of world-renowned experts will review the plans, choosing implementable winners that will have the biggest impact.

Details of the plans are little more than archi-babble right now, but here's the rundown:

Local firm WXY Architecture (East River Blueway) and the Netherlands-based West 8 (Governors Island makeover) created a plan that draws heavily from the Dutch experience, "where hard science, robust engineering, and investment in infrastructure are integrated into pragmatic public spaces with multiple benefits across regions—parks, bicycle corridors, bridges, canals and floodplains visibly link settlements across the entire country."

Bjarke Ingels Group partnered with several other firms on a plan that will "inject new urban life forms into our cities" by "cross-breeding public infrastructure with social programs."

HR&A Advisors lead a team that plans to "focus on resiliency measures for retail corridors, districts, and destinations, which are the lifeblood of communities, providing jobs, critical goods and services, and neighborhood gathering places."

Interboro Partners' team plan is also Dutch-inspired. They will "demonstrate that some of the pioneering flood-mitigation strategies developed by the team can be leveraged by vulnerable communities to strengthen local economies and improve housing, transportation, and public space on the municipal level."

Office of Metropolitan Architecture also partnered with international firms to devise a plan that "marries expertise from both old and new Amsterdam" and focuses "on high-density urban environments."

Yet another Dutch-inspired design comes from MIT/CAU + Dutch Delta Collective.

The PennDesign/OLIN team is lead by the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design and the Philadelphia-based firm OLIN (of the Met Museum plaza redesign).

Sasaki Associates is working with Rutgers University and ARUP on a plan that focuses on the Jersey Shore.

Manhattan-based SCAPE plans to focus "on the shallows and integrating green and gray infrastructure." They are working with Parsons Brinckerhoff. SeARC Ecological Consulting, Ocean and Coastal Consultants, The New York Harbor School, Phil Orton/Stevens Institute, Paul Greenberg, LOT-EK, and MTWTF.

Unabridged leads a team from the Gulf Coast, which will draw on their experiences after Hurricane Katrina.
· Rebuild By Design [official]
· 10 Architects Make Cut in Post-Sandy Competition [Crain's]