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Jaklitsch Gardner Architects Unveil Design for Stilt City Art Center in the Rockaways

Located on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Stilt City will be an art community space created in a vacant bungalow, which had been flooded by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Founded by Brooklyn-based artist Robyn Renee Hasty, Stilt City will serve as an art and exhibition center that will sponsor a residency program for local artists. Hasty and New York City-based
architecture firm, Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects (J/GA), envision the reconstruction of the building as a model for post-Sandy building, both in terms of its architectural strategies and in terms of the impact it will have on the social resiliency of the community, as well as the urban fabric. The design approach is focused on providing alternative rebuilding strategies for structures that cannot be elevated and offer low-impact design features that will safeguard against future floods.

To raise funds for Stilt City, a crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign will
launch on November 20, 2014 with a fundraising goal of $100,000. These
funds will be allocated towards construction and program development for
the art center. Donation rewards for the campaign will include
one-of-a-kind pieces of art, as well as experiences and events.

"The project was born out of the belief that artistic vision is essential
to communities after crisis," says Hasty. Through the assistance of
Architecture for Humanity and The 1% Program of Public Architecture, Hasty
and J/GA have teamed up to reimagine the bungalow as a flexible art and
community space.

The Stilt City collaboration has provided "the opportunity to demonstrate
resilient design that preserves the existing character of the Rockaways,"
says J/GA principal Stephan Jaklitsch. "Design has the potential to act or
counteract to repair the social fabric ... we had to frame the term
'resiliency' and understand that it is about social vulnerability as much
as it is about the built environment," adds J/GA principal Mark Gardner.
"We are able to influence the urban and social fabric in a positive way by
opening the structure as much as possible to engage the community,"
concludes Jaklitsch.

The design created for Stilt City implements low-cost resilient features
that will help mitigate future flood damage. "Because there was no money to
raise the structure - we had to devise a different strategy to address
future potential floods so we focused on low impact design alternatives,"
says Jaklitsch. Some of these low-impact alternatives include the
replacement of hardscape with porous materials that will aid in natural
drainage and reduce erosion; installation of mechanical equipment above the
first story; and use of marine-grade plywood that provides resistance
against mold and water damage. The unique sloped roof is the most
prominent architectural shift that accommodates a lofted living area to
allow storage of items during a flood; it extends over the front porch to
create a canopy and theatrical-like frame or stage. A new roll-up door
opens the façade to the street and can remain open for enhanced visibility
and accessibility during open studio sessions, exhibits and community
programs, as well as to accommodate large sculpture and installation
pieces. The exterior cladding is intended to change and evolve over time
with contributions from the artists in residence so that the building
itself will become an installation within the community-showcasing a
collaboration of many skill-sets, many visions, and many hands.

Learn more about Stilt City and the upcoming Kickstarter campaign at
Posted November 3rd, 2014 by Otto

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