Giant ‘Lily Pads’ Will Protect Red Hook Houses From Future Flooding

Rendering via KPF

NYCHA has commissioned architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) to design a resiliency and renewal program for the Red Hook Houses in response to the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The storm left thousands of Red Hook residents without power and basic necessities for weeks and damaged the area’s infrastructure—destroying basement mechanical rooms significantly, according to a KPF press release.

KPF teamed up with the landscape architecture firm, OLIN, to develop a master plan that would lessen the community’s vulnerability to future storms and improve the sustainability and livability of the 28 buildings that make up the Red Hook Houses.

To prepare for the project, KPF conducted extensive design research and collected the community’s input by hosting forums and workshops and distributing surveys.

The final design features 14 above-ground “utility pods” that will provide heat and electricity to each of the buildings and offer meeting/community space for residents.

Rendering via KPF

Eye-catching “Lily Pads,” raised earth constructed in the center of the development’s courtyards, will serve as “landscaped flood protection,” according to KPF’s project proposal.

The “Lily Pads” will also serve as much-needed green space as well as social areas for the 6,000 residents of the Red Hook Houses.

The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIA NY) awarded KPF with a Merit Award in Urban Design for the project.

See KPF’s full Red Hook Houses | A Sandy Resiliency and Renewal Program proposal here.

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Pamela Wong

Pam was a staff reporter at Bklyner, covering North-Western parts of Brooklyn between 2016 and 2019. She also writes about art at arthag.typepad.com.

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