The goal of our project is to introduce new ways to traverse and access the canal itself, unearthing the latent conditions of the site and, in essence, “stitching” back together the fabric of central Brooklyn.
Traversing the canal with new pedestrian and bicycle pathways allows the Gowanus neighborhood to function as a conduit between the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and Red Hook. This increased access and exposure in itself perpetuates awareness of the canal, its problems, and its supported programs.
Increasing both visual and physical access to the canal, as well as supporting natural and chemical clean-up efforts, performs as an educational tool. The natural infrastructure of storm-water management becomes a visible learning tool and the water is gradually cleaned. This state of observation and participation acts as a reminder of the power of unchecked pollution and creates accountability and investment within the community.
Clean-up programs are partnered with non-profit groups in establishing supporting programs to increase traffic and exposure (green and craft/manufacturing markets, outdoor movies, outdoor classrooms, parks, meeting spaces, etc.) Adjacent vacant and underutilized parcels are used as partnership projects with local developers to encourage use, stewardship and secure long-term funding.
the module of the “mafia block” is both an ever-present artifact in the neighborhood and a reminder of its industrial heritage. it is also re-using a waste material (left-over concrete) as a way to demarcate space and re-articulate the canal edge.
Architecture / Landscape Competition