Water Proving Ground

Water Proving Ground in the Rising Currents Exhibit

New York, NY
Exhibition 2010 (March 24 – October 11)
Museum of Modern Art

Design Merit Award, Urban Design, AIA New York Chapter
AZ Award Finalist, Unrealized Concept, Azure

LTL Architects was one of five architecture firms selected by MoMA for the workshop and exhibition, Rising Currents. The show examined the future impacts on New York Harbor of rising sea-levels brought on by global warming through a series of speculative proposals for the water’s edge. LTL’ s design focused on the site of Liberty State Park in the harbor’s Northwestern quadrant, a former rail yard constructed as a series of landfills during the early part of the 20th century and all but destined to disappear with shifting sea levels.

Integrating water as a performative component of the design, the project proposes a vibrant amphibious landscape continually activated by rising tides.  By redistributing the site’s historic fill to create a series of four raised land-piers, the design multiplies the length of the existing coastline by a factor of ten.  This complex edge generates a more resilient buffer to storm surge and coastal flooding and maximizes the intertidal zone as a testing ground for new uses and inhabitations based on the dynamic exchange between sea and land.  Structured as a series of petri dishes, the plan incorporates a diversity of programs and multiple ecologies, combining productive landscape and urban park.


Urban Visions


Project team:  Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; Aaron Forrest, Megan Griscom, Perla Dís Kristindóttir, Yasmin Vobis; Laura Cheung, John Morrison, Hye-Young Chung, Deric Mizokami, Cody Fithian, Mia Lorenzetti Lee, Jason Dannenbring, Clark Manning, Luke Smith, Yu-Cheng Koh, Amanda Kronk, Paul Landon, Phillip Chang, project assistants
Curator: Barry Bergdoll, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design


de Monchaux, Thomas. "Save New York by Making it 'Soft'." The New Yorker. January 15, 2013
"Water Proving Ground." Rising Currents: Projects for New York's Waterfront
de Monchaux, Thomas. “Blue in Green: Notes on “Rising Currents”. Log 19Spring/Summer 2010
Gronewold, Nathanial. "Architects Plan 'Amphibious Landscape' for New York City." The New York Times. January 11, 2010
“Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront to Respond to Climate Change.” Landscape Architecture China