Lattice Apartment Towers, Manhattan

New York architecture studio DFA has imagined a series of latticed apartment towers for Manhattan’s Pier 40, which would be able to remain above water in the event of rising sea levels. The conceptual proposal involves constructing a complex of housing, recreational and commercial facilities on the square-shaped Pier 40. The structure extends 250 metres over the Hudson River and currently houses car parking facilities and a popular football field. The concept envisions 19 cylindrical high-rises, wrapped in golden net-shaped window frames and planting. These would house a total of 450 living units, which would be sold at price points from affordable to luxury. Ranging from 96 to 455 feet (29 to 138 metres) tall, the towers would be set in 11 clusters that the architecture firm based on analysis of the pier’s structural base comprising thousands of steel H-pile girders reinforced with concrete and sunk into the river.

The residences in the towers would be elevated 60 inches (1.5 metres) above expected storm surge levels as one of a series of ways to protect the complex from flooding caused by sea-level rise. An elevated undulating pathway would wrap around the bases of the clusters, over a series of public pavilions. These would remain open until 2050, when water levels are expected to increase between 11 and 30 inches .But 50 years later, when the tidal river could be 50 to 75 inches (1.3 to 1.9 metres) higher, the pavilions would be completely submerged by water. In this scenario, the platform above would provide the new access for the complex. Beyond 2050, as regular flooding begins to engulf the coastline as we know it, the landscape deck transforms into a floating island with new pathways built to connect the evolved wetland ecosystem to Manhattan.