Futurist Architect And A+ Awards Juror Mitch Joachim Helps The Brooklyn Navy Yard Evolve
December 14, 2012
Architizer is hosting the world’s definitive architectural awards program, with 50+ categories and 200+ jurors. Alanna Okun, Assistant Editor at BuzzFeed Shift, will be covering relevant stories and news relating to the jury, the categories, and latest updates related to A+. See her previous post on Moby here. To learn more about the awards, visit architizerawards.com.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard has undergone drastic changes since it was first built in 1781. It’s suffered major explosions, was once purchased by the U.S. government for the grand sum of $40,000, played host to the testing site of the first song broadcast over live radio, and today functions as an industrial park with over 40 buildings and 5,000 employees. And its evolution is showing no signs of slowing.
Helping to spearhead that change is Mitch Joachim, architect and head of urban think tank Terreform ONE and cross-disciplinary design laboratory Planetary One. Joachim, who has in the past proposed the idea of growing a house out of meat, is currently serving as one of the site’s first artists-in-residence. He’s also a juror for Architizer’s upcoming A+ Awards. Continue.
Along with Planetary One‘s Maria Ailova and Nurham Gokturk, Joachim is reimagining the space of the Navy Yard. The trio developed a design, pictured above, to turn the Yard into “Super Dock,” a green manufacturing center and science park replete with fungus-covered buildings and 3D printers creating ships. Joachim’s vision is, at least in part, becoming a reality; back in May, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz (the mastermind behind the “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey” sign) announced that the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Council would invest $46 million to turn the space into a green manufacturing center, creating abut 300 jobs and taking the Yard’s development out of the theoretical and into the real.
The Navy Yard is the striking combination of urban and natural, old and new. It’s historic but organic, constantly changing thanks to the needs and ideas of its tenants and users. It’s a series of contradictions (much, I’d argue, like Brooklyn itself—Marty Markowitz, the aforementioned Brooklyn Borough President, may have served in his current role for over a decade, but that doesn’t stop him from appearing at local soccer games and sipping hot apple cider with his neighbors). It takes a certain kind of openness and vision to want to preserve—in fact, to enhance—those contradictions. Architecture and design don’t exist in a vacuum, nor do they exist out of time. That deep sense of understanding the intersections between history, form, function, economics, wonder, and growth is what Joachim is bringing to the Navy Yard. And to the A+ Awards.