Dune Co-Habitat

Collaborators: SCAPE, LOT-EK Architecture & Design

Role: Primary Landscape Designer 

Status: 2013 For a Resilient Rockaway (FAR ROC) Design Competition Honorable Mention

Location: Far Rockaway New York City, NY

Learn More: ▶︎bustler

This project integrates coastal protection strategies with a public & semi-public open space network to create a co-habitat for people and marine life. A series of floodable platforms or undulating and inhabitable secondary dunes are shaped to contain and protect key site infrastructure, parking, and utilities. In between these dunes - in the “slack” - are dynamic floodable coastal scrub gardens – designed to absorb overtopping and provide desirable beach views for all residential units. Our iconic Rockaways bungalow typology is resilient in its construction: a new concrete topographic & infrastructural base below is coupled with prefabricated steel modular units above Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) where framing and finishes are built within a continuous hard shell.

While physical elements are hardened to withstand weather events, the units themselves are more operable and openable, and integrated into the landscape context. Bungalows cluster to form semi-public shared courtyards, creating smaller-scale social spaces and a local neighborhood character, in keeping with the tradition of innovative Queens and Brooklyn housing patterns. Revenue generating program and mid-rise density zones anchor the site’s two subway stops: at Beach 44th Street, the hotel complex is the gateway to the nature preserve and, at Beach 36th Street, a linear promenade, lined with a mix of cultural, retail, and residential units above, culminates in a pier that reaches out to the ocean, concentrating commercial activity and animating the N-S connection between the city and the beach. An E-W spine of recreational and community spaces accept Stillwater inundation from Jamaica Bay during major storm events, while serving as a connective spine between Far Rockaway and Arverne neighborhoods.


This was an ecological research project taken on by summer interns at SCAPE, looking for resilient design solutions on how can future coastal cities develop under the threat of disasters. The SCAPE team was assigned Far Rockaway in the neighborhood of Queens, an area hit heavily by Sandy in 2012. We teamed up with LOT-EK and delivered a comprehensive plan that addressed concerns on posts-disaster recovery, coastal flood protection, and smart growth. 

 © 2023 by Wendy Yifei Wang.