Imminent Bloom
Willets Point, NY
CLIENT
Metropolis Magazine's Living Cities Design Competition / AIA Unbuilt Design Competition
STATUS
Completed through Concept Design
SERVICES
Architecture
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Program

440,000-sf, 40-story residential tower with 96 340-sf micro units,108 1,290-sf expandable loft units, four community spaces spanning the building’s width, and a water treatment and filtration stystem at the base.

Description

Imminent Bloom is an innovative residential site and building design directly responding to  the pressures of environmental challenges and increasing populations; providing architecture that is restorative, flexible, and unifying. Offering spaces with adaptable expansion options conducive to resident needs over time, we aim to recreate the incentive of ownership. Here owners can invest in a habitat that grows with them while positively contributing to the environment.  Too often, vertical living segregates people into digestible, marketable segments. Imminent Bloom is an example of how to provide armature for everyone, in all phases of life; creating an adaptable space to meet diverse generational needs.

The rise of sea level over the next 25 years is an imposing threat to current design strategies. We have an opportunity to prepare future habitats; giving them the ability to bend, not break, with environmental changes. Because a great deal of embodied energy linked to current infrastructure and increased land values, we must continue to find solutions improving upon current and underutilized sites. Abandoning high-risk areas is not an option, but creating environmentally responsible alternatives is feasible.

Willets Point, New York, was the chosen location to test our design approach. If familiar with this area, you’ll see we have reimagined the property to showcase what is truly achievable in urban, low-lying, vulnerable areas. Traditionally, there is a stark separation between urban environmental management facilities, such as remediation and treatment plants, and residential communities. We took this as an opportunity to explore design options that ultimately maximize utilization of these services by incorporating them as amenities within residential site developments. The outcome significantly increases function-density of urban spaces; in turn neighborhoods become direct net providers of energy. Adjustments as simple as allowing for transitional water edges and potential expansion from dry to wet land masses create flexible intertidal zones allowing for natural environmental adaptability over time. Additional active solutions include integrating water treatment systems into the function of the residential towers; gaining the ability to efficiently alternate between the treatment of river water and site water.

By establishing a larger urban context for our building, one that addresses the macro sustainability issues facing the city, we begin to lay a formwork for a system into which the tower can be folded.  This macro scale construct is a site and tower that are positive occupants within a larger regional system. At the inhabitant scale, the majority of units provide flexibility and adaptability. The steel construction allows for a demographic and functional agility necessary for residents over time. The unit designs address their scale within the permutations of household change through a life cycle of a unit.

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