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Sherman Creek Boathouse Design Contest Winner Picked Amid Fundraising Drive

By Nigel Chiwaya | December 17, 2013 2:16pm
 Bade Stageberg Cox has been chosen to design a boathouse and learning center along the Inwood waterfront.
Winner Chosen in Sherman Creek Boathouse Design Contest
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INWOOD — A Brooklyn architecture firm won a contest to redesign the Sherman Creek waterfront — as part of a fundraising drive to make the project possible.

DUMBO-based Bade Stageberg Cox beat seven other New York City firms to build a boathouse and educational center at Sherman Creek as part of the waterfront's continued redevelopment.

The contest was launched in July by the creek's caretaker, the New York Restoration Project, as part of a bid to spur donations to cover the cost of construction, estimated at $1 million.

The city has said its plan to revamp the creek has been on its radar for years, and the city's Economic Development Corporation even put together a master plan for developing the site in 2011. However, construction has been stalled by the need to replace contaminated soil at the site, which was an illegal trash dumping ground for decades.

The city has spent nearly nearly $900,000 on clearing out the ruins of old boathouses and cleaning up the soil at the site, according to Northern Manhattan Parks head Jennifer Hoppa, who discussed the issue at Manhattan Community Board 12 earlier this month. Hoppa added at the time that there is no more money currently on the table for a boathouse project.

BSC's design calls for the construction of an outdoor recreational facility as well as an open, waterfront classroom. The classroom design features a rainwater skylight, rainfall gauge and water tables to allow kids to conduct water tests.

NYRP Executive Director Amy Freitag hailed the designs in a statement, saying “BSC’s thoughtful approach to providing access to the water's edge directly responds to the city's call for resilient design, making Sherman Creek Park a spectacular destination for local residents, students, rowers and anyone who seeks to discover the Northern Manhattan waterfront park.”

The design structure for both facilities includes weathered steel panels with slotted openings to allow water to flow in and out. The openings would allow the facilities to withstand flooding like the kind seen during Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled the area last fall.