The intent of the competition is to provide a new community resource that will occupy the site with a Combined Sewer Overflow [CSO] retention facility. Information for the schematic design of a retention facility has been provided under the 'Resources' link. It is not the purpose of this competition to require an intensive engineering solution for the CSO retention facility, but rather to acknowledge the various components of the system, show approximate size and locations, and demonstrate how they support the competition's design objectives. The goal is to generate a new typology that will emerge from the symbiotic relationship of a community center and a sewage management facitlity. Entrants are encouraged to explore how the ritual and profane uses of water are realized in an evocative design solution.

Community Center Program

Community Pool:
Entry and check-in area: 400 SF
Large pool: 45" deep, 100,000 gallons, 4,500 SF surface area (min. length one side 25 yards), 300 max. persons in pool assuming 15SF per person
Small wading pool: 12" deep, 4,000 gallons, 576 SF surface area, 38 max. persons in pool assuming 15SF per person
5' wide perimeter deck around all four sides of both pools
Additional deck area (excluding perimeter deck area above): 17,000 SF

Two life guard stations at large pool, one lifeguard station at small pool
Interior toilet stations for pool users (accessible only from exterior pool deck)
    Women: Five (5) WCs, two (2) lavatories
    Men: Two (2) WCs, one (1) urinal, two (2) lavatories
Outdoor covered changing pavilions with lockers and showers (accessible only from pool deck)
    100 mens lockers, 100 womens lockers
    5 mens showers, 5 womens showers
First Aid Station (200 SF)
Pool Equipment Room (300 SF)
Life Guard Locker Room (300 SF)
Security Station (200 SF)
Storage for pool equipment as required

Community Support Area (dedicated area):
Free cold breakfast program, served 11 am - 12 pm
Free cold lunch program, served 12 pm - 1 pm
Eight tables that can seat four or more

Outdoor Active and Passive Recreation Areas:
Four handball courts
Six half-court basketball areas
Ice skating rink
Skateboard park
Sitting Area with outdoor sprinkler
Two (2) Children's Playgrounds
Comfort Station: Mens Bathroom: two (2) lavatories, one (1) WC, one (1) urinal; Womens Bathroom: two (2) lavatories, two (2) WCs and Recreation Room near Sitting Area and Playgrounds

Indoor Recreation Area:
After School Room: 1,500 SF
Cardio Room: 700 SF
Weight Room: 1,100 SF
Computer Resource Center: 1,100 SF
Gymnasium: 3,000 SF
Multi-Purpose Room: 1,400 SF (with folding door to create two 700 SF rooms)
Lockers for 90 people
Women: Five (5) WCs, two (2) lavatories, two (2) showers
Men: Two (2) WCs, two (2) urinals, two (2) lavatories, two (2) showers
Mechanical and circulation space as required

Indoor Office Area:
Public Meeting Room: 300 SF
Parks Department offices: 1,500 SF
Unisex bathroom: One (1) WC, one (1) lavatory
Mechanical and circulation space as required


Other Community Support Spaces Can be Proposed by Entrants


CSO Retention Facility Program

Much of the following information can be found in the NYC Department of Environmental Protection's [DEP] August 29, 2008 DEP Waterbody/Watershed Facility Plan for the Gowanus Canal.

As mentioned in the objectives, it is the purpose of this competition to place a CSO retention facility on the pool site to help mitigate the combined sewer overflow at RH-034, located at the head of the canal. DEP models show that RH-034 dumps approximately 121 million gallons [MG] of untreated sewage into the canal each year. The competition proposes that during each weather event when the sewer system serving the Red Hook Treatment Plant overflows capacity, the first 20% ("first flush") of the CSO overflow from RH-034 is diverted to the retention facility via Degraw Street and held there until sewer capacity is available and the water can be flushed back into the sewer system. This assumes that there are no other systems proposed to reduce the CSO level at RH-034 or the amount of toxins (see Other Systems/Approaches below). Proposals should be modeled on Modular Storage Technology, which was used at the DEP CSO Facility at Paerdegat Basin in Jamaica Bay (see 'Resources').

Based on the above information and the Paerdegat Basin Facility, the following is the competition program for the CSO Retention Facility.  For purposes of the competition technically accurate or detailed solutions for the retention facility are not required. Entrants should propose conceptual layouts based on the program that identify key access points, circulation patterns and relevant design features that meet the overall objectives of the competition.

Program Area: 26,000 SF which includes the following components:

Instrumentation and Electrical Control Space: 3,500 SF

Screenings and Debris Disposal Space (must have loading dock access): 7,000 SF

Pump Back Equipment Space: 10,000 SF

Odor Control Systems Space (with exhaust vent stack): 5,500 SF

In addition to the floor area above, a 4 Million Gallon CSO Retention Tank(s) must be provided. (Separate tanks recommended for ease of operations and maintenance. For example: four - 1 million gallon tanks).

Other Systems/Approaches
The following approaches can also be utilized to help reduce the CSO outfall at RH-034 and reduce the size of the retention tank:

  • Green Infrastructure (must be supported with third-party data that clearly demonstrates its effectiveness)
  • Ongoing combined sewer system maintenance that reduces the build up of solids. (The DEP currently assumes that 15" of solids are coating sewer tunnel walls, thus decreasing the capacity of the sewer system and increasing the percent of contaminants in the first flush.)

Factors to Consider:

  • DEP is one of the largest energy users in the city. Solutions should propose energy efficient models.
  • The DEP's Waterbody/Watershed Facility Plan is based on 1988 rainfall records at JFK airport. It does not take into account the long term effects of climate change.
  • RH-034 captures a 657-acre watershed (see map in 'Downloads').
  • RH-034 represents about 1/3 of total CSO discharge into the canal.
  • RH-034 discharge accounts for 70% of the area that is treated by the Red Hook Sewer Treatment Plant.
  • CSO discharges from RH-034 account for 45-71% of the total loading of the following pollutants: biochemical oxygen demand [BOD], total suspended solids [TSS], and total coliform bacteria.
  • Depth of the contaminated soil exceeds 100 feet on the site.