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Astral Waterworks

The story of Astral Waterworks revolves around 2 core elements: water and industry. Situated around Brooklyn’s Bushwick Inlet along the East River, this site has had many histories. Its pre-industrial history was reminiscent of an era where humans and nature lived in harmony along the waterfront; where humans could walk down and dip their toes in the river. Then industry changed everything when Astral Oil Works set up shop on the site in the 1770s. But rather than shun the industrial heritage (which has since polluted the now-abandoned site) while favoring the natural history, would it be possible to synthesize the 2? We believe so. Astral Waterworks is a re-imagination of the classic American factory town. However an attempt to make it suitable for the ecological and environmental concerns of the 21st century. A modern, economically, and ecologically resilient work-live community where residents who work on the agro-roofs and in the maker spaces can sell their products and produce in the on-site farmers market. Where an underwater bio-filtration structure doubling as a maritime history museum cleanses the Bushwick ‘lagoon’ creating an extra layer of aquatic park space for the residents to enjoy. Astral Waterworks is a speculation on the future of urban systems and urbanism as a whole. The site-wide water system uses a series of hardscaped streams, constructed wetlands, biofilters, pumps, and retention ponds to treat greywater and polluted water from the East River. After water from the East River is pumped to the stream bases around the exterior of the site, the water runs through the stream system where it is treated as it passes through UV filters, until it reaches the circular retention pools. It is stored here until it passes into and replenishes the cleansed lagoon when the water level is low enough. To save energy, the pump system only operates when the tidal cycles are low.