One Architecture is a global leader in resilience infrastructure, through flagship projects in New York and other cities, as well as through its consultancy for, a.o., 100 Resilient Cities and the Asian Development Bank. One Architecture founder Matthijs Bouw is the Rockefeller Urban Resilience Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Resilience is the ability to deal with shocks and stresses, and to transform itself within critical thresholds. ONE understands resilience as the primary lens through which complex systems can be enhanced and transformed. ONE views resilience as a focal point around which our office re-imagines local economies, urban systems and infrastructure.

The Blue lifelines for a Secure Sahel (BLiSS) initiative will build the resilience of poor and vulnerable rural communities of the Sahel in the face of growing water shocks and food insecurity, by improving the status of wetland systems – the Blue Lifelines. By adding value to existing climate change adaptation, land degradation and wider development initiatives across the region, at least 6 major wetland systems will be revived, benefitting around 10 million people.

ONE supported Wetlands International in identifying potential investments in the Inner Niger Delta and Nile Basin wetland systems. The team worked with local stakeholders to identify key ecosystem services and develop a range of nature-based and policy solutions to reduce ecological and economic stressors. The analysis considered ecosystem health based on seasonal wetland changes and changes due to climate change, geopolitical conflict, and infrastructure and economic development.

The project has been featured during the Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021. The presentation video is available here.

  • Project Period: August 2020 — December 2020
  • Client: International Climate Initiative (IKI)

The ONE Resilient Team [led by One Architecture & Urbanism with Smartland, Arcadis, OverMorgen, Drift, Climate Adaptation Partners, and various centers at the University of Pennsylvania] was selected as one of two teams to participate in the Resilience by Design: Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (RBD MRA) program. With a focus on the MRA’s urbanized parts, the ONE team collaborated with government organizations, knowledge institutes, and local stakeholders in the region to provide creative and integrated solutions to climate-adaptive development.

Over the past few months, the team advanced with its analysis of climate impacts, stressors, and thresholds to identify areas of opportunity for planning and design to embed climate adaptation in urban space. For the selected sites as a result of the study—Beverwijk, Haarlem, Haven-Stad, and Almere —the team developed strategies and demonstration projects to solidify climate adaptation as a ‘normal’ part of integrated investment decisions now and in the future within the MRA. The final RBD proposals were presented to the many stakeholders and at the Deltaconference in November 2020, and already serve as climate-adaptive inputs for the implementation program and investment agenda of the MRA’s ‘Urbanization Strategy’ for 2050 and beyond.

The final report presented by ONE Resilient Team is available here.

In supporting The Government of Indonesia, the World Bank facilitated a national Urban Flood Resilience program to address institutional, regulatory, financial, technical and design needs for flood risk investments in selected Indonesian cities. This conceptual framework supports the pilot cities of Pontianak, Manado, and Bima in developing urban flood resilience strategies and investment options.

ONE partnered with Deltares, Kota Kita, and PT Wiratma to develop innovative measures incorporating structural, policy, and nature-based solutions to improve flood resilience in each of the target cities. The multi-disciplinary international team combined expertise in urban planning and design, flood risk engineering, landscape architecture, social engagement and disaster risk management.

Through a systematic process of identifying hazards, assessing risks, developing and evaluating alternatives, and proposing flexible and adaptive strategies, this framework will serve as the basis for future feasibility studies and detailed design of urban flood resilience investment packages. The initiative began in late 2019 with data collection and risk analysis that considered the unique urban, geological and hydrological conditions in each of the three cities. Through a series of site visits and capacity building workshops, the team was able to partner with local stakeholders to develop overall approaches to resilience, paired with tailored solutions. In addition to providing advisory services and technical inputs on urban flood resilience strategies for each of the cities, the project offers a framework for applying parallel approaches at the local, regional and national scales.

The East Side Coastal Resiliency project (ESCR) is the first compartment of The BIG U design to move into implementation, with $335 million in HUD CDBG-DR funding, and the first major urban resilience project of its kind in the United States.

Scheduled to begin construction in late 2020, the ESCR compartment will protect the communities behind a 2.4 mile section of coastline along the East River, running from 25th Street in the East Village to Montgomery Street in the Lower East Side. In the re-envisioned East River Park, flood protection elements and landscape improvements are designed to heighten quality of life, improve park access over Robert Moses-era highway infrastructure, and amenitize public spaces while preserving existing recreational capacity. 

As the first integrated resilience project in New York organized between multiple agencies, the design process has gradually become an exercise in how to organize resilience projects. ONE’s role in the project has extended from urban integration to inter-agency coordination, helping to create the first precedent and framework for planning large-scale coastal infrastructure, deconflicting municipal priorities through multiple-scenario planning while illuminating co-benefits to a wide cross-section of stakeholder interests. In the late stages of the project design and documentation, ONE has led the detailed architectural design of the flood protection system — including 17 flood gates crossing City right-of-ways, and over a mile of exposed concrete flood wall.

  • Project Period:
    Phase 1 | Planning and feasibility: December 2014 – November 2015
    Phase 2 | Concept and preliminary design: January 2016 – May 2019
    Phase 3 | Final design: May 2019 – August 2020 Construction completion (est.) 2025
  • Client:
    The Mayor’s Office of Resiliency (MOR), NYC Department of Design and Construction (NYC-DDC)
    Partner agencies: NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYC-EDC), NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC-DPR), NYC Department of Transportation (NYC-DOT), NYC Department of City Planning (NYC-DCP)
  • Collaborators: AKRF, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (MNLA), Arcadis, Jacobs, Siteworks

Wired, Oct 2016

Architects Newspaper, Jan 2016

Observer, Jan 2016

Architect Magazine, Nov 2015

Curbed, May 2015

Wired, Jun 2014

Climate Ready Downtown Boston and North End was the fifth, and final, district-level translation of the recommendations from the 2016 Climate Ready Boston report, developing localized flood resilience strategies for Boston’s central business district and historic waterfront.  The STOSS and ONE led venture produced short- and long-term, layered infrastructure and open space strategies to protect against successive changes in sea levels and storm effects, and that leverage resiliency efforts for improvements beneficial to local communities, the environment, historic assets, public agencies, and private landowners. Building upon the team’s previous work and lessons learned in East Boston, Charlestown, and South Boston (Moakley Park), STOSS and ONE (supported by Kleinfelder, Woods Hole Group, and Arcadis) proposed a dynamic, future-forward adaptation of downtown Boston, with a particular focus on ensuring the long-term viability of the maritime character and operationality of the waterfront.

The project utilized multi-pronged engagement to reach individual property owners, public agencies, existing and potential partners, as well as community members and groups — with the goal of building consensus. Feedback from this process and regular guidance from the steering committee was filtered back through design proposals, tailoring these strategies to the circumstances and stakeholders at hand. The feasibility study developed concepts to address flood entry points, to reduce flood risk. The proposed solutions explore adaptation strategies for historic buildings, open space, and 400 year old wharfs.

The final report is available here.

Design Weekly, Weitzman School of Design, Dec 2020

North End Waterfront, Oct 2020

WBUR, Oct 2020

North End Waterfront, Oct 2020

Patch, Oct 2020

North End Waterfront, Mar 2019

North End Waterfront, Mar 2019

North End Waterfront, Jul 2019

North End Waterfront, Aug 2019

BISNOW, Sep 2019

Wired, Sep 2019

ONE was commissioned by NYC Parks and the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency as part of a multidisciplinary team to develop a resilience vision for the East Harlem neighborhood, extending from East 92nd to 154th Street. The result of this year-long study is a comprehensive plan for adaptation to climate change impacts through an integrated approach that includes coastal protection measures, stormwater management, and urban heat island strategies within a larger framework for open space and increased social resiliency.  

The project also sought to use its process to grow a culture of resiliency in East Harlem. Through an innovative stakeholder outreach, the team partnered with DREAM Charter School to co-develop a high school curriculum in resiliency planning as well as link to a network of community institutions and residents. The resiliency planning curriculum exposes students to principles and methodologies related to neighborhood mapping, analyzing social vulnerability, and designing green infrastructure. This effort resulted in the publication of a 20-lesson curriculum made available for other schools to teach, and demonstration projects by the students across the neighborhood. 

The public report is available here.  

Building upon the lessons learned in the Vision Plan for a Resilient East Harlem, ONE continued to research and develop ideas for the longer term evolution of the neighborhood. The culmination of this exploration was the proposal of an integrated stormwater management corridor along East 106th Street, a critical flood pathway within the district. Through a reconfiguration of the right-of-way and expansion of green-blue infrastructure, the proposal uses stormwater capture, retention, and conveyance to mitigate bathtub flooding that could result from the implementation of coastal flood infrastructure. At the same time, a redesigned East 106th Street eliminates transportation conflicts and enhances access for cars, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians.

  • Project Period: October 2019 — March 2020 
  • Client: Self-Initiated

The Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) Project was a follow on study to the BIG U proposal (for 2014’s Rebuild By Design competition); the second major project area to move forward after ESCR was initiated.

For NYC’s Economic Development Corporation, One Architecture completed feasibility, planning, and concept design studies to understand the best strategies for implementing flood protection and park improvements along the coastal periphery of Lower Manhattan. Representing an incredibly diverse physical, social, and political cross section of the city, this project posed many challenges and opportunities in synthesizing broader urban agendas in the implementation of flood protection. ONE leveraged our expertise from previous and concurrent resilient infrastructure projects to test the feasibility of different implementation strategies in terms of spatial, structural, and regulatory considerations.

The LMCR core study articulated a series of flood protection compartments which the City has since taken up as discrete projects, including Battery Park City Resiliency and the Brooklyn Bridge Montgomery Resiliency (BMCR) projects.

Lower Manhattan Long Term Plan, a sub-project within LMCR, dealt with the long-term fate of Lower Manhattan, addressing larger topics outside the coastal infrastructure realm such as the possibility for increased civic placemaking, rethinking transportation systems, unlocking funding, and incremental adaptation to an ever-evolving environmental context. This work was presented in the Lower Manhattan Climate Resiliency Plan, and set the stage for ONE’s current role on The Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan.

For the Dutch government-led Water as Leverage challenge, ONE assembled an interdisciplinary, international team of designers, engineers, economists, ecologists, anthropologists, art activists, and academics to tackle water-related risks and opportunities in Semarang, Indonesia. 

The ONE team developed a city-wide, integrated vision spanning from the region’s coast to its hilly urban periphery. The proposal puts forth potential interventions with multiple benefits centered around eco-industrial clusters, water security, resilience communities, and a protective coastal greenbelt. Only as part of a comprehensive approach, the team described, would any individual infrastructure project achieve a net positive effect on the drastic rates of subsidence (largely due to groundwater extraction and aquifer depletion), sea-level rise, and rapid urbanization presently occurring in Semarang. 

The design approach is comprised around three connected resilient systems: 1) an optimized water capture and recycling system; (2) an integrated (eco, industrial, logistic) protective coastal zone; and (3) a network of resilient kampungs (districts). Many of the component sub-projects within these systems – street-level green infrastructure, water conveyance and retention systems along toll roads, protective greenbelts built into waterfront industrial sites, offshore barriers around inundated port areas – tie into the city’s planned or ongoing capital projects in the coming years. As part of the challenge, the team co-developed these potential projects and concepts alongside city agencies, local stakeholders, businesses, and communities. 

Since the delivery of the final program proposals in mid-2019, ONE and Kota Kita have continued working between RVO and the Indonesian government entities on capacity building, integration and adoption of concepts, and (ultimately) a series of targeted infrastructure investments. 

The Final Report is available here.   

Dutch Design Awards 2020 in Best Commissioning category (Water As Leverage program), Oct 2020 

Following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, a series of risk reduction masterplans were developed for Tacloban City, Philippines, including a Building with Nature plan initiated by Wetlands International (with Deltares and RHDHV). In the following stage, ONE was awarded a Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) seed grant to facilitate a series of pilot projects from the DRR masterplan for a protective coastal greenbelt throughout the region. In partnership with WI and government agencies, on-the-ground feedback was used iteratively to improve the masterplan incrementally, to develop an implementable long-term strategy for Tacloban City. ONE worked with stakeholders to finalize sites for pilot projects, ultimately establishing nearly 10,000 mangrove seedlings as part of a fish pond reversion and 10 hectares of beach forest seedlings (plugging two major gaps in the coastal green belt), and a 3-year community program to maintain and monitor the sites.

In addition to fostering science-based restoration and risk reduction practices at a local level, the primary thrust of the Seed Grant work centered on disentangling the jurisdictional conflicts, overlaps, and ambiguities that impede rehabilitation and resiliency projects. Though moderate in physical size, the effort was a remarkable success in turning high-level typological concepts into realized, tangible nature-based risk reduction.

Philippine Government, August 2017

Business Mirror, August 2017

Philippine News Agency, August 2017

The Freeman, August 2017

Philippine Reclamation Authority, April 2017

Business Mirror, March 2017

Prevention Web, March 2017

The Source Magazine, March 2017

Global Resilience Partnership, Marth 2017

Together, the cities of Chelsea and Everett are pursuing climate resiliency planning and adaptation measures to address coastal and inland flooding. The communities were jointly awarded a grant by the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Coastal Resilience program to address projected flooding from the Island End River, where they share an extensive 500 acre floodplain (for a 100-year storm event in 2030). This large area houses many commercial and industrial properties key to economic viability in the region, among these properties is the metro area central produce distribution facility, New England Produce Center.  

In Chelsea the project centered on efforts to develop a conceptual design for a flood barrier previously proposed in a 2017 report on “Designing Coastal Community Infrastructure for Climate Change”. In Everette, the team analyzed, and mapped risk and vulnerabilities based on flood models produced by WHG. The high resolution and detailed analysis revealed that to provide comprehensive protection for the area the barrier will need to extend between municipal boundaries and continue into Everett. The team studied multiple alignments and options for a continuous flood barrier, considering near- and long- term solutions, subsurface conditions, property ownership, zoning, and state regulations. Physical solutions included flood walls, elevated public spaces, and natural wetland buffers. The final report outlines both opportunistic and strategic recommendations for implementation in Everett and Chelsea, as well as policies, evaluation criteria, and design solutions, subject to additional localized conditions, stakeholders, etc.   

The engagement strategy has been multi-pronged and developed in collaboration with two local organizations Greenroots and Mystic River Watershed Association (MyWRA). It was designed to reach personal property owners, abutters, and residents to build a critical mass of consensus. Feedback from this process and regular guidance from a collaborative steering committee were filtered back through proposals to best tailor these strategies to the circumstances and stakeholders at hand.  

The project is now in a second stage grant under the MVP program, and will complete design in late 2021. 

Chelsea Record, Jul 2019 

Concord is susceptible to the impacts of climate change, namely increases in heat, rainfall, and storms, and damage caused by riverine and stormwater flooding. While the Town of Concord has excelled at taking action to prevent the emission of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, the Town still has more to do to prepare for localized changes that are already underway. Concord’s town centers can be made more resilient to the current and upcoming impacts of climate change through planning efforts which will allow businesses and residents to continue enjoying their town amidst changing conditions and challenges. The plan for Sustainable Concord aims to provide an actionable roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preserving our natural resources, and preparing all residents for the impacts of climate change. ONE worked to develop resilience design recommendations for the Main Street Milldam area and the business center in West Concord. 

To develop a long-term strategy for a resilient and vibrant village, the team performed an extensive vulnerability analysis, by reviewing past work, analyzing data on climate impacts, identifying vulnerabilities, and engaging with local businesses, schools, and residents. The team has developed preliminary recommendations for Concord’s town centers via urban design, architecture, and policy solutions. 

The plan is available here.

For the Resilient By Design: Bay Area Challenge, One Architecture & Urbanism (ONE) partnered with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Sherwood Design Engineers (Sherwood) to develop a resilience plan for Islais Creek, an historic watershed in Southeast San Francisco. This is an historically industrial area once home to a verdant, marshy watershed since channelized and home to heavy industry and logistics which support the entire city of San Francisco.

The team’s final design, Islais Hyper-Creek, merges ecology and industry along a daylighted creek, allowing for a naturalized and restored series of waterfront public spaces with densified and consolidated industrial and PDR space at its edges. A series of parks and public amenities populate the edges of the creek through a series of six proposed pilot projects.

Throughout the year of the project’s development, BIG + ONE + Sherwood held over 80 stakeholder and community engagement meetings to better understand local dynamics, relationship to the waterfront, and areas of desired improvement aside from infrastructural resilience. Chief among the concerns highlighted by locals were access to jobs and workforce development, affordability in an increasingly stressed housing market, environmental justice, and parks / open space.

Through bridging an important relationship with the Port of San Francisco, ONE is seeking new ways to advance pilot projects, including resilient floating architecture at Warm Water Cove. By densifying existing industrial and logistical activities, softening shorelines and daylighting a section of the creek currently decked over, the BIG + ONE + Sherwood team sought to reorient the city’s relationship to its historic waterfronts as a vital element in its recreational and industrial economy.

The six pilots arrived at by the design team respond to these concerns and more, proposing the creation of accessible open space with integrated green-blue infrastructure, a food district, vastly improved transportation systems, waterfront access, waste processing, stacked and decked residential and commercial space, and other phaseable short-term solutions to climate and urban risks.

San Francisco Chronicle, may 2018

The Atlantic, may 2018

Fast Company, may 2018

Curbed, may 2018

The Bay Link, may 2018

Bay Planning Coalition, may 2018

Autodesk, may 2018

The Architect’s Newspaper, may 2018

ArchDaily, may 2018

Climate Ready Boston is Mayor Walsh’s ongoing initiative to help Boston plan for the future impacts of climate change. The City released a comprehensive report in December 2016 that assessed how Boston will be impacted by more flooding and extreme weather. Now the City is taking action to plan and implement priority initiatives, and ONE has been contracted to work on Climate Ready East Boston and Charlestown. East Boston and Charlestown are among the neighborhoods that are most vulnerable to coastal flooding from sea level rise and coastal storms. The City received a grant from the Massachusetts Off ice of Coastal Zone Management to begin developing coastal resilience strategies for vulnerable areas in East Boston and north Charlestown. ONE’s goal over the coming months is to work with community residents, businesses, and our partners in the region to envision long term solutions, anchored by tangible projects that can be implemented over the nearer term. These efforts will be guided by the principles, strategies, and initiatives proposed in the Climate Ready report.

The Big U/Dryline is a protective system that encircles Manhattan, responding to the needs and concerns of the island’s diverse communities. Stretching from West 57th Street south to The Battery and up to East 42nd Street, Big U/Dryline protects 10 continuous miles of low lying geography that comprise an incredibly dense, vibrant, and vulnerable urban area. The proposed system not only shields the city against floods and stormwater; it provides social and environmental benefits to the community, and fosters an improved public realm. Coordinated plans were created for three contiguous but separate regions of the waterfront dubbed “compartments. Each compartment comprises a physically discrete flood-protection zone that can be isolated from flooding in adjacent zones. Each presents unique opportunities for integrated social and community planning. The compartments work in concert to protect and enhance the city, but each compartment’s proposal is designed to stand on its own. Proposed solutions for the components were designed in close consultation with the associated communities and many local, municipal, State and Federal stakeholders; each proposal has a benefit-cost ratio greater than one; and each is flexible, easily phased, and able to integrate with existing projects in progress.

The Moakley Park Vision Plan balances outdoor recreational needs and community gathering spaces for a major park in South Boston, with protection against climate-change impacts such as flooding from increased rainfall and sea-level rise. The plan provides a vision for the programmatic development of the park that ensures a diverse and balanced mix of uses, increases active recreational opportunities, cultural amenities, and safety. At the same time, it will consider how the design of the park can help increase the neighborhood’s resilience against coastal flooding and reduce the impact of rainfall on recreational fields.  

The planning process itself seeks to stimulate meaningful and inclusive community engagement and identify both a long-term design approach to the park that encourages a wide range of users as well as early ‘catalyst’ projects and partnerships to help promote and sustain future park renovation projects. The vision will seek to increase connectivity between Moakley Park and adjacent neighborhoods as well as Carson Beach and The Boston Harbor Islands, just steps away. The Vision Plan process spanned the course of a single year. Four major community events were planned during this time. For these events, ONE and Stoss designed immersive public engagement centered around play activities simulating flood protection and interactive exercises to help determine the park’s future programming. In addition, the team conducted a routine series of open houses, interviews, and stakeholder meetings. In the initial stages of the project, a Community Advisory Board was formed to inform the design team of questions, concerns, and aspirations for future users of Moakley. In Fall 2018, ONE and Stoss were invited to the Ontario Climate Consortium to present on their innovative techniques through an imitation engagement session, Lateral Dialogues.  

Presently, the team is working on the schematic design of the full park, as well as developing the “Phase 1”  project which will commence construction in late 2021. 

Curbed Boston, Mar 2019 

NRPA (National Recreation and Park Association), Apr 2019 

Dorchester Reporter, Mar 2019 

Engineering News-Record, Dec 2019 

Imagine the Wall, Charleston sets forth a vision for a series of interconnected, Nature-based Solutions to protect the Charleston peninsula from storm surge, adapt to rising sea levels and reduce flooding from stormwater. Initiated following the release of the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the vision proposes a protection system that combines natural elements with structural systems that respond to the local conditions of Charleston’s varied shoreline and urban fabric.

Built on the USACE’s report, the team’s solutions serve the idea of nature-based design that combines hard engineering and traditional construction materials with ecological forms such as marshes and oyster reefs. The combined approach offers reduced maintenance costs and living systems that can respond dynamically to future conditions, benefiting both the community and the surrounding natural environment. The proposal also emphasizes multi-functional components by integrating flood protection with green infrastructure, ecological enhancement, and dynamic public space with increased waterfront access in addition to providing flood protection and stormwater management. 

The vision proposal intends to broaden the conversation about Charleston’s “Sea Wall” and perimeter protection and initiate discussions between stakeholders that will guide decision making and the creation of a contextual and nature-based protection plan.

Find more about the proposal here

Under the title ‘Dialogos del Agua’, One Architecture developed, with Arcadis, an integral water management strategy for three watersheds in Panama. Commissioned by the Panama municipality after severe and repeated flooding, the strategy called for an integral approach that involved government, the local community, as well as private developers.

In a series of workshops, the drainage systems, the newly proposed retention areas and the rivers were re-designed as a series of parks with enough capacity to manage stormwater (even in times of coastal flooding), while providing benefits to the community. In addition to a set of spatial proposals, the strategy involved advice on the institutional framework, a handbook for water sensitive urbanism, as well the creation of a community task force to help keeping the drains clean.

The Municipality’s current work focuses on the adoption of new regulations and additional building requirements for flood-prone areas. At the same time, through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Municipality will work with urban designers, construction companies, and social and environmental specialists to design, build, and maintain the infrastructural works reducing flood risks.

  • Location: Juan Díaz, Panama City, Panama
  • Project period: 2016 – 2017
  • Client: Municipality of Panama, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (
  • Collaborators: Arcadis, Wetlands International

The industrial area Albertkanaal is a business area that stretches from the center of Antwerp to Wijnegem. The area is the subject of a durable transition. With a team of specialists (POSAD, One Architecture, Arcadis and 3E) a concept study on the themes of energy and water is elaborated and will contribute to a sustainable future for the area. This study is approached in a holistic way: results are developed by developing business cases together with stakeholders, so that they are widely supported.

One Architecture has been responsible for the spatial design on the theme of water. Within this theme two business cases are elaborated:

The first case is investigating the possibilities of a greywater network, where water from a nearby sewage treatment plant will be reused within a (cluster of) companies for different processes, eg. cleaning of process equipment, process water, water treatment, steam generation, cooling and the sanitary. The study also examined whether rainwater that is collected from roofs can be reused within the company itself.

The second case examines possible measures for climate-adaptive space, to address problems such as risks of flooding and heat-stress which this area is dealing with. By zoning the area into smaller sections, it was possible to simulate possible rainwater-flooding risks, showing which areas and which of the stakeholders are at risk. A set of measures for climate-adaptation are proposed in the study. The business case focuses on one of the measures: a watersquare near the dock, which besides having water detaining capacity also serves as a recreational playground for the residential neighborhood.

In 2008, housing corporation Rentree’s ambitious plans for the transformation of the Deventer Rivierenwijk came to a slow stop. 300 houses were already demolished in the process, leaving a neighborhood torn to pieces.

ONE’s subsequent Urban Framework describes new spatial starting points, conditions and directives. It indicates how the actors’ various spatial interventions, e.g. the reconstruction of the Amstellaan, 500 new houses, local facilities, neighborhood connections, and landscape structure, will combine into a coherent result. All obstacles obstructing the restart have been solved with the designs of the plan’s components.

An important feature in the design and how the neighborhood will function in the future was integrating and widening the Amstellaan, a main traffic artery.  In the past, developers and engineers had imagined many options, all equally unfeasible and undesirable, all based on a pure technical infrastructural logic. One Architecture changed roles: by making the engineers work with the designers, One Architecture created a new design. Suddenly, the design was within budget and received the full support of the area’s residents. Now, this design has been developed, tendered and is under construction, with an estimated delivery late 2014.

Further optimizations of the plan’s components are the result of this joint planning process. Project Amstellaan will result in a “tree bank”, making full-grown trees available cheaply for new construction. The green buffer space enables flexibility and room for optimization of Rentree’s housing program.

  • Project period: 2011 – 2014 (constructed; urban redevelopment ongoing)
  • Client: Municipality of Deventer, the Netherlands
  • Collaborators: Royal HaskoningDHV

Dwarka is a new sub-city planned under the burden of providing growing population in 1990. It is strategically located close to the airport in South West Delhi and is planned for a population of one million-plus (primarily middle-class) inhabitants. From observations at the site and discussions with experts it is vident that development does not come off the ground, in part due to speculation, in part due to severe water shortages. Sizeable areas still stand vacant, and apartment buildings are only partly occupied. This is remarkable, given the fact that many areas much further from the center, the airport and the business-hub of Gurgaon are developing rapidly.

Water is key to a future development of Dwarka. As an essential building-block of any future vision or scenario for Dwarka, the water issue needs to be addressed first.

The aim is to develop strategies, projects and tools for addressing the (urgent) water. It is a parallel process where there are no fixed set of solutions but the idea is to test out to make Dwarka a more self-sustainable sub-city with alternate scenarios and by asking fundamental questions, spreading awareness for the urgency of the issue and at the same time demonstrating with appropriate action plans/concrete projects.

A site in size of 900m x 900m is identified around the station of Delhi metro for further study and strategy testing. Several proposals are put forward to solve current problems and bridge the gap between water consumption and supply. The designs aims to close water loop by increasing water-holding capacity, recharging groundwater, treating wastewater locally, implementing water design into landscape and architecture designs. The new road system aims for slow traffic and giving the space back to pedestrian. Meanwhile, roads are narrowed down in order to save more space for water management. Stormwater management system will be implemented into green structure for ecological and landscape value. The testsite will be a demonstration for other cases in the sub-city or in other areas of Delhi or India.