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Echo Bay Waterfront Adaptation

Recently, timing and local circumstances have brought a number of important issues that are critical for waterfront development all along the East Coast, to the forefront in New Rochelle, NY. Questions about how waterfronts should develop at a time when the ocean is an increasingly unstable presence, about the fate of post-industrial landscapes, and about the balance of private development initiatives and community interests, have taken on specific and important meaning on this short stretch of the Long Island Sound.

The site occupies a prominent position adjacent to downtown and the nearby waterfront neighborhoods on Echo Bay. Infrastructural sites dot the area, including a large waste water plant, and some industrial uses remain, although they have gradually decreased over time. Our intention is to open this waterfront for public access in a way that simultaneously helps rebuild and maintain precious coastal landscapes while providing the starting point for a waterfront greenway that permanently connects the city to its bay. 

In addition to a large terraced park overlooking the sound, our proposal has two main features: first, the adaptive reuse and expansion of the Armory building with its adjacent tower to create an ‘In Vessel’ regional composting facility and coastal learning center, and, secondly, to create a mix of housing appropriate to this unique site. The residential model shown in the proposal is designed for flexibility and, depending on demand, can be configured as either 12-14 townhouses or 45-60 apartments, both mixing market rate homes with affordable units.

The Armory building has the right physical attributes to make composting a successful and profitable operation. There are no competing facilities and New Rochelle spends large sums of money every year to send compostable waste to landfills. In Vessel Composting (IVC) technology is a modern, highly controlled, system that turns intake matter into fresh soil in closed containers with no odor and many benefits. On coastal sites where erosion and industrial contamination are prevalent, the ability to produce clean soil is especially useful, and, in fact, the whole site can be seen as part of one active process. Grey water from the housing will be collected and sent to the Armory for use in the system while the fresh soil that is created is used to sculpt and maintain the waterfront and to repair the natural landscape. At the same time revenue is generated by fees paid to the facility for disposal of intake matter and by the sale of excess soil. 


Client: proposal

Location: New Rochelle, NY

Program: Residential, Municipal, Park

Size: 7.8 acres

Proposed on August 5th, 2013