Timothy Wong: Gowanus is in the process of undergoing a dramatic transformation. With the re-zoning of this district, a radically different image of Gowanus is proposed – one of promenades, shop fronts and new housing blocks. What is at stake here is gentrification. Not only does it drive away the current residents, it also transforms the character of the place. Gentrification is an idealization of what the place is, pristine and clean, perfect for consumers. However, this removes the rich history of Gowanus as a space that is the consequence of the industries that occupied and are still occupying this place. Hence, this project is an attempt to reject the utopian veneer of the rezoning to reveal the core character of Gowanus – infrastructure.
From the canal, pump house, sewage pipes to the new proposed sewage storage, Gowanus is an infrastructural space. However, these infrastructures are hidden from us, from the inaccessible pump house to the proposed sewage storage below the park - infrastructure is always hidden from view. This project hence attempts to reveal these infrastructural elements across my proposal. With this heightened awareness of infrastructure, this project aims to be the antithesis of the rezoned promenades, parks and luxury big block housing.