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Arch debacker jesskuntz p23 03

North River Wastewater Treatment Plant Reimagined

In my proposal I reimagine the plant from day one. The plant was shoehorned into west Harlem without the community’s informed consent. As an act of damage control, in 1993 the city constructed a park on top of the treatment plant. Rather than rectifying the damage of the plant after the fact, I am exploring how infrastructural projects can become hybrid in nature and provide a civic public space that serves and gives back to the community from the beginning. My intervention takes place in the interstitial space between infrastructure and the public. The structural form of the intervention relies on the existing walls of the facility and the space is activated by service cores that derive utilities from the water treatment equipment. These service cores can host a number of programs from bathrooms and kitchenettes, to meeting spaces. By occupying the perimeter of the facility, my intervention seeks to reactivate and reclaim the riverfront for the community. The civic space is also arranged in a way that allows for visual access to the water treatment process. This is meant to promote transparency and accountability in the facility and to inform the community of the process that are typically concealed.