To Do: MoMA – Rising Currents: Projects For New York’s Waterfronts
Just when I thought I was done with MoMA for a while (this past weekend I saw Tim Burton and his adorable beasts), the museum creates an exhibit so compelling to New York City it seems mandatory I go.
…Barry Bergdoll, the head of the Museum of Modern Art’s architecture and design department, divvied New York Harbor among five teams of designers and challenged them to figure out how a low-lying metropolis might deal with rising sea levels and violent storm surges. Their answers will appear (starting March 24) in the MoMA exhibit “Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront,” and they vary from spongy streets to reefs made of glass or oysters to apartment buildings dangling above the brine. Despite their varied approaches, all the teams agree that the traditional solution—barricading the city behind high, hard walls—is just a start. They craft a waterfront that’s more like a beach than a bulwark: a soft urban edge that welcomes waves, drinks them up and puts them to work, and lets floodwaters ebb without drama. Bergdoll asked the architects to present paths to salvation in visual terms: “Your mission is to come up with images that are so compelling they can’t be forgotten and so realistic that they can’t be dismissed,” he told them. The result is a tour de force of visionary pragmatism.