Red Hook is about to get some new public green space that will provide a lot more than just a nice spot to relax on a summer afternoon.
Kohn Pedersen Fox has released conceptual renderings for 14 “Lily Pad” utility pods that will be built around Red Hook Houses. The rolling, grassy hills contain machinery that will be able to provide backup power and heat to the houses, while also acting as flood barriers.
The innovatively designed pods were commissioned by the New York City Housing Authority after Hurricane Sandy left residents of Red Hook Houses without heat and electricity for weeks.
In a statement, KPF addressed the unique problems they were trying to solve with the design:
"Commissioned by the New York City Housing Authority, KPF worked with landscape architecture firm OLIN to devise a resiliency and renewal program in response to Superstorm Sandy. Making landfall in October 2012, the storm left thousands of Red Hook residents without power and basic necessities for more than two weeks. The neighborhood’s infrastructure also suffered dramatically, with virtually all basement mechanical rooms destroyed and requiring years of repair. Faced with NYCHA’s largest development in Brooklyn, KPF was charged with lessening the community’s vulnerability to natural disasters and improving the sustainability and livability of its 28 buildings housing 6,000 people."
Funding for the project will come from the $438 million allocated by FEMA to repair the housing complex.