Gowanus BASIN


Upper canal


Lower canal


Existing canal, looking south from 9th Street Bridge


Site plan


View of basin

Gowanus BASIN
Urban Design

Gowanus BASIN was a response to Connections: The Gowanus Low-Line, an Open Ideas Competition. The project proposes three interventions that are meant to initiate a process of connected regeneration. A large BASIN is made in the center of the site to accelerate the removal of polluted soils while providing an entirely new space of assembly and activity. A PATH connects all the way from Prospect Park along Union Street through the Gowanus to the Erie Basin. The path and embankment become as varied as the sites that they connect –sometimes compressing to a narrow walk at the existing bulkhead, at other points following a new sloping wetland area, and at still other points it either cantilevers over the canal or actually enters into the canal on floating walkways. ACTIVITY NODES occur along the path as opportunities arise. Principal nodes include the public space at Gowanus Green and the recreational island that is created in the BASIN.

Gowanus BASIN envisions a place in which the unique physical character of the district that was created solely for industrial scale servicing of the city becomes an armature for organic growth and incremental evolution of a unique place to live, work, and visit. And it suggests that the means to do this are based upon introducing a few big elements that are themselves calibrated to unlock the inherently dynamic potential of the site and its communities.