Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)




As climate change leads to more intense and frequent storms throughout the northeast, architecture needs to adapt to be able to protect life and property. As we can see from Superstorm Sandy, and the more recent Hurricanes Ida, and Henri the current architecture and infrastructure is failing its purpose. Nowhere is this more true than in Astoria Queens.Among the New York City neighborhoods most impacted by climate change, Astoria has received little investment to make it more resilient. The Astoria Houses public housing complex becomes the perfect site to design a new mixed density, resilient neighborhood of the future.

Astoria Houses is located on a peninsula of reclaimed land on the East River. This single ownership site has access to transit and views of the Manhattan Skyline.a. Built on filled land, the Astoria Houses are already experiencing occasional flooding and will be inundated over time. This project strives to manage and minimize the impact of climate change through smart architectural design. Core infrastructure such as cooling, heating, and water systems can be storm-proofed as much as possible to allow them to continue to function during a disaster with minimal interruptions to the residents of the complex.

Creating overlapping fail safes at multiple scales in the project allows for multiple systems to fail before something in the complex goes wrong and before residents would seriously feel the impact of a storm event. The proposed large-scale resilient strategies include elevating the residential components of the neighborhood well above the one hundred year flood lines, creating designated flood zones such as an amphitheater and a sunken parking garage, and creating a series of storm swales that prevent major storm surges and coastal waves from impacting the site. At a smaller-scale using water resilient materials at the ground level of buildings and designing a landscape of water heavy plantings and permeable pavements add an additional layer of protection and resiliency. This secondary step becomes the prevention layer of defense to a storm or water event.

Resiliency becomes the key for creating a new Astoria House’s which will be able to stand the test of time. Resiliency uses the principles of preparation, prevention, and adaptation for a disaster. The end goal of this process is putting people first and designing a more livable neighborhood that offers an improved quality of life and faces minimal interruptions in the era of climate change and rising sea levels.


View exhibition online: James Juscik, Astoria Houses: A Resilient Future

Included in

Architecture Commons



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