Pleasure Gardens of the New Sensorium

Project Description

We propose reviving Coney Island’s historical identity as a site of sensory stimulation by producing a “new sensorium” which embraces the constantly shifting edge between land and water. Using a cut-and-fill strategy, we invite the water to infiltrate the site by carving out new channels and using the fill to create concentrations of high ground. As the water reaches deeper into the landmass, it is held in constructed wetlands and supports new ecosystems. Below Mermaid Avenue, the systematic grid of the city is replaced with new districts whose logics of connection are based on scenographic paths that mitigate the separation of the districts. The public realm, formerly constituted by the linear strips of beach and boardwalk, is reconceived as a series of itineraries that meander between conditions of wet and dry, high and low, transport by land or by water, long views to the ocean and closer views to the myriad ecologies that comprise the new sensorium.