Ashley Scott Kelly and Rikako Wakabayashi, a Brooklyn-based architecture team, took home first prize in the Van Alen Institute's 'Envisioning Gateway' ideas competition this week. Launched last winter, the competition asked designers to re-conceive the National Recreation Area, a 26,607-acre waterfront zone along the New York-New Jersey coast that comprises one of the region's largest open spaces. It yielded 230 entrants from 23 different countries.
Kelley and Wakabayashi’s proposal, titled “Mapping the Ecotone,” is derived from a mapping exercise. It calls for creating a microcosm of habitats and landforms to capture the diversity of Gateway’s varied ecosystems and would reintroduce water to the decommissioned Floyd Bennett Field.
As RECORD reported in February, the Van Alen Institute created this ideas competition to increase awareness about the park, improve access to it, and protect it from development. The National Parks Conservation Association and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation also helped organized the competition and Tiffany & Co. sponsored it with a $500,000 grant.
For their winning entry, Kelley and Wakabayashi received $15,000. Toronto-based North Design Office won second prize, while Virginia Tech faculty members Laurel McSherry, Terry Surjan, and Rob Holmes placed third. Honorable mentions went to Archipelago Architecture and Landscape Architecture, loop|8, and the team of Frank Gesualdi and Hayley Eber.