Island[s] In-Formation

Academic Project • New York NY • Spring 2014 • Marion Weiss, Prof.

This project re-imagines the Cornell Tech educational campus on Roosevelt Island for a future with rising water levels, increasing flood hazards, and the increasingly blurred boundaries of built and natural environment. The educational and urban communities must have a new campus that brings these issues to light, so that coexistence with impending sea level rise can be both publicly trialed and scientifically investigated.

 The presence of the surrounding East River - with its fast currents, flooding, and rising levels - is of equal importance to the land on which Cornell’s Tech Campus will be built. Thus, the project adapts the island’s geography to accommodate the river’s water in channels, creating a stronger visual and infrastructural connection with neighboring Manhattan and Queens. A raised pedestrian axis responds to rising water levels and the introduction of water channels beneath. Program is housed in a super-structural massing that bridges over the transportation and research channels, forming a new landscape of terrace and building at a safe, raised elevation. Additional channels in the mass provide a connection between users and the East River, light, air, views, and research areas. These connections link and strengthen the relationships between the public, the institution, and the environment.

Done In Collaboration with: Sarah Blitzer