After extensive deliberation, the jury selected “Small Means and Great Ends” by Stockholm-based firm White Arkitekter as the winning design solution.


The FAR ROC design competition drew submissions from 117 project teams around the world. Small Means and Great Endsincorporates a series of small, affordable, and smart interventions that center on three strategies: reduce and control damage; provide access in the event of a storm; and ensure quick recovery.


The design aims not only to better weather future natural disasters, but also to create a stronger socio-economic environment–moving beyond resilience and becoming ‘antifragile’, where both the design and community benefit and improve after enduring stress.


“Our winning proposal aims to transform an 80-acre shoreline site in the Rockaways into a resilient and affordable community through a series of small interventions that can be tested, adjusted, or redesigned overtime during the development process.


The goal is to create an authentic urban development; a new home for the community of Arverne East, a lively and beautiful environment that interacts, rather than counteracts with the sea and responds to natural forces.


The design proposes the implementation of a series of interconnected small scale interventions that together disperse and direct wind and flooding in order to bring down the force of nature and direct away from the proposed mixed use development. The development will be set back from the shore of the built area giving space for a nature reserve.


This ecological zone dissipates the ocean’s energy during a storm and forms a new landscape with shallower and calmer water that provides opportunities for leisure and education uses near the new boardwalk. Two large landscape parks cut through the area, as boulevards. The boulevards function both as storm water detainment and retention and as Public Park.


Public recreational functions are gathered on the pier, such as a hotel, theatre and sport accommodations. A new sandbar landscape in the sea is proposed to be organically developed with prefabricated concrete elements or locally available rocks, functioning as a detached breakwater in the sea. The sandbar landscape protects the hinterland during flooding.


The new boardwalk has a gap on the landside and is elevated where possible to minimize the impact of storm water on the structure. The boardwalk is ‘kinked’ to disperse storm water. The sides are permeable for water and wind, and the handrails are designed to prevent damage during a storm. Our urban strategy aims to create an inclusive community that will enable all members to flourish.


It respects all citizens and provides opportunities for them to engage in decision-making processes that affect their lives directly. The housing program is inspired by the Scandinavian Model of economic efficiency and welfare state benefits, establishing an appropriate and responsive programme with a healthy mix of housing types supported by commercial and public services and social places” says the architects.


Location: New York City, USA 
Architect: White Arkitekter 
Project Team: Sander Schuur, Geoff Denton, Sam Keshavarz, Tobias Lindqvist Ottosson, Christoph Duckart, Pontus Pyk, Steven Rowland, Karl Tyrväinen, Martin Login 
Project start/end: 2013 
Client: The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development