The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801


West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

North America

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

WXY + West 8 Team Shortlisted for “Rebuild by Design” Hurricane Sandy Competition



WXY + West 8 Team Shortlisted for “Rebuild by Design” Hurricane Sandy Competition

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced on Thursday that the WXY+West 8 Team is one of ten international teams invited to participate in Stages 2 and 3 of “Rebuild by Design”, a multi-stage design competition tasked with promoting resilience for the Sandy-affected region. The competition, sponsored by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, commences in August 2013 with a research and concept design phase, concluding in February of 2014 with submission of schematic proposals for site-specific design solutions. In March of 2014, winning teams will be invited to further develop design proposals for on-the-ground implementation with use of Federal Disaster Recovery Funds. The competition process is expected to strengthen understanding of regional interdependencies, fostering coordination and resilience both at the local level and across the United States.

The WXY+West 8 Team is led by Claire Weisz of WXY Architecture and Urban Design and Adriaan Geuze of West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture.Through her practice at WXY and as a co-founder of The Design Trust for Public Space, Claire Weisz has revived interest in public space and innovative design and policy through subjects as diverse as sustainable building, reinventing infrastructure, and waterfront access.Adriaan Geuze has led West 8 to the forefront of international urban design and landscape architecture by incorporating contemporary culture, urban identity, site context, architecture, public space and engineering within one design. Geuze brings decades of internationally-recognized landscape and infrastructure design, including dozens of realized projects and planning efforts in coastal environments, deltas, waterfronts, and regional landscapes, both in his home country of the Netherlands and abroad. The WXY+West 8 Team was selected from an initial list of 148 teams from 15 countries that in July expressed interest in the competition.

On Thursday, August 8th, Shaun Donovan kicked off the competition with the announcement of the ten final teams, stating: “I have never seen a collection of interdisciplinary talent like that represented by the teams in this room.”

Team Design Approach

When Superstorm Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, she was over 1,100 miles in width, with winds up to 89 mph. While unique in her severity, Sandy’s violent impact on developed coastlines is increasingly the norm up and down the east coast. The dynamic nature of the coastal environments along this length of coastline is further complicated by wide variation in types of settlement —from the nation’s largest cities to small, beachfront communities, all featuring distinct patterns of growth. A regional scan is needed in order to adequately conceive of strategies that can house the complexity of conditions found throughout the Sandy-Affected Region. 

Thus, the WXY+West 8 Team will focus on the competition category “Ecological and Waterbody Networks”, working regionally, across political boundaries and beyond baseline protective measures. In this respect, the team takes great inspiration from the Dutch experience, and leans on the expertise of West 8 and Arcadis’ work in the Netherlands, where hard science, robust engineering, and investment in infrastructure are integrated into pragmatic public spaces with multiple benefits across regions—parks, bicycle corridors, bridges, canals and floodplains visibly link settlements across the entire country. In the Dutch landscape these pieces of public infrastructure serve as daily reminders of the continued need for public engagement, maintenance and vigilance in the face of powerful climatic forces.

The WXY+West 8 Team believes in seeking out multiple benefits for design ideas—for every dollar spent in recovery efforts, there should be a community, economic, ecological and social benefit. In order to cover all bases and collect the widest potential thinking, the WXY+West 8 team is composed of a group of the eastern seaboards’ sharpest urbanists, economists, and scientists, along with their Dutch counterparts in landscape architecture, regional planning and coastal engineering—all of whom are working nationally and internationally. The team shares an understanding that complex and dynamic systems require an integrated “think tank” approach.

In order to define specific sites for study, the team will first take a multivalent look at the outermost conditions of the Northeastern American Coastline—its barrier islands, inlets, wetlands, and riparian estuaries and the way they interact with settlements, towns, and the largest cities. WXY+West 8 will develop a series of prototypical transects that run from the shoreline to hinterland, providing solutions that can be adapted at other locations along the eastern seaboard.

About the Rebuild by Design Competition

The Rebuild by Design Competition was announced on June 20, 2013 by Secretary Shaun Donovan of Housing and Urban Development and Chair of the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. The goal of the competition is two-fold: to promote innovation by developing regionally-scalable but locally-contextual solutions that increase resilience in the region, and to implement selected proposals with both public and private funding dedicated to this effort. The competition also represents a policy innovation by committing to set aside HUD Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding specifically to incentivize implementation of winning projects and proposals. Examples of design solutions are expected to range in scope and scale – from large-scale green infrastructure to small-scale residential resiliency retrofits.

For more information about the competition, visit:

About the Design Team

WXY is known for innovation in the art of community planning, urban design and architecture. WXY’s integrated design process has been developed at many scales to synergize the contributions of public and private interests to solve complex design problems, yielding solutions as noteworthy for their intimacy and detail as for their civic dignity and amenity. WXY’s work centers on social and environmental transformation. The firm’s commissions – whether it be a brownfield or an iconic waterfront – are in collaboration with community-based, public authority, and private clients.

West 8 is an international office for urban design and landscape architecture, founded by Adriaan Geuze in 1987. Over the last 25 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 75 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. With a multi-disciplinary approach to complex design issues, West 8 has extensive experience in large-scale urban master planning and design, landscape interventions, waterfront projects, parks, squares, and gardens. They also develop concepts and visions for large-scale planning issues that involve global warming, urbanization, and infrastructure. In 2008, West 8 opened its New York office.

For more information about WXY visit:

WXY architecture + urban design
224 Centre Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10013

For more information about West 8 visit:

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.
333 Hudson Street Suite 905
New York, NY 10013
Tel.: +31 (0) 10-4855801

Team Leadership

Claire Weisz, FAIA, Principal
WXY architecture + urban design

Adriaan Geuze, IR., RLA, OALA, Founder/Principal-in-Charge
West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture

Team Members

Edgar Westerhof, Senior Planner
Piet Dircke, Hydrologist, Program Director
Arcadis Engineering

Dr. Alan Blumberg, George Meade Bond Professor & Director of Center for Maritime Systems
Davidson Laboratory, Stevens Institute of Technology

Kate John Alder, RLA, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University

Maxine Griffith, AICP, Executive Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, Special Advisor for Campus Planning
Columbia University

William Morrish, Professor of Urban Ecologies at School of Design Strategies
Parsons the New School for Design

Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences
Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

Mary Edna Fraser

Kei Hayashi
BJH Advisors, LLC

West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 25 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Chiswick Park in London (UK) and Expo \’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA) and Playa de Palma in Mallorca (ES).

Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB),  the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.

For more information: Public Relations, Winnie Poon or Lydia Franken, +31 (0)10 – 485 58 01,,