Sheepshead Bay: COMMUNITY-SCALED REBUILDING
Originally developed in the 1920s as summer cottages on marshy infill, the bungalow courts of Sheepshead Bay are organized around internal mews that stand at 4 feet below the street level. The mews were damaged by Sandy, and have continued to flood with every heavy rainfall. Working with the Pratt Center, Gans & Company helped this long standing community work together on common plans to ensure their environmental safety and economic wellbeing for years to come.
Because the homes are under-performing, fragile, and therefore difficult to lift above future flood levels, there are incentives for collectively replacing them with an elevated and net-zero prefabricated alternative. We designed a collective boardwalk across the entire mews that provides ADA access to the individual homes.
Developed with Sherwood Design Engineers, a master plan leverages the water management potential of the courts used as a collective landscape. Shared gardens on the upland mews would absorb rain before delivering the residual runoff to the Bay. A living breakwater would disperse wave action and mitigate shore inundation. A by-product would be an increase in community parkland, which is now scarce. Only this scale of planning will make the neighborhood truly sustainable.
Civil Engineer: Sherwood Design Engineers, Jason Loiselle
Community Based Organizing: Pratt Center
Design: Gans & Company: Rosamund Palmer, Cristina Zubillaga, Sean Gold