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La Biennale di Venezia

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Big-Bjarke Ingels Group

Big U: Humanhattan 2050

As part of our FREESPACE manifesto, where we see the Earth as Client, we looked for inventive and thought-provoking real projects for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, which, as well as providing much-needed infrastructural investment, capture a civic component with generosity. We hope that this project in New York can be inspirational to the many places around the world that have to deal with similar issues, either immediately or in the near future and that we can all benefit from their shared experiences.
In collaboration with New York City, the BIG U proposal is being developed to protect Lower Manhattan from floodwater, storms, and the consequences of climate change. The project forms a ten mile ‘necklace’ around a low-lying area of Manhattan forming a protective system, a system that also provides locally-needed community amenities. Referring to the Greek proverb in our manifesto: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”, the resilient, salt-tolerant trees and plants, positioned in the new public park add protection, while also providing pleasure for citizens in the newly, constructed areas for recreation.
This wide-ranging team with interconnecting expertise are researching solutions to real problems, simultaneously provide future-proof, civic components.

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura