Islands in New York City have historically been used for alternative, illicit, or reclusive activities. In particular, Jamaica Bay and Broad Channel Island used to be the center of the alcohol trade during prohibition. Because of their remoteness, isolation, and fog-prone environment, many rumrunners called the island home.
Embracing the ephemeral and atmospheric qualities of fog as well as the island's location within the bay enables otherness to take advantage of pre-conditions that establish a fog-facilitating landform in key locations throughout the bay. Infrastructural and urban elements are then deployed into this fog-scape in order to grant access and eventually occupation. The type of urbanism that is established borrows from the language of the illicit and creates different typologies of habitation such as drifting, floating, tethering, steaming, and viewing. Fog becomes the catalyst for a switch between a normative city and an illicit one. The model shows the deepening pools of a fog-facilitating landform.
About The Designer
Alexander Cassini is a French-American Master of Landscape Architecture I candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He previously graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati where he won a variety of honors and awards: chief among them the David H. Peet Memorial Award, the Outstanding Co-op Student Award, the Outstanding Senior Award in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, and the Director’s Choice Award during the annual DAAPWORKS student exhibition. Cultivating a passion for landscapes and cities which originated after growing up in the countryside along the Loire River Valley, he has worked in the field of planning, urban design, and landscape architecture at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates In Brooklyn; Agence Babylone in Paris; Design Collective in Baltimore; Gensler in Los Angeles; Concordia in New Orleans; and for the City of Angers (in France). His current research is examining bio-dynamic viticulture practices and their relationship to cultural landscapes. In his free time he enjoys playing the clarinet for the Harvard University Bach Society Orchestra.