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Biodiversity is one of the core identities of Staten Island.Yet this element is missing in Stapleton. si_[amped]_ecotone reimagines new ways of integrating wildlife into human settlement. The prototypes at three selected sites serve as guidelines for future wildlife & human co-dwelling urbanism in multiple scales.





_new approach of integrating wildlife into human settlement

_staten island_new york city_new york_usa

_design completed 2016

Site Analysis

_staten island identities

_lack of biodiversity at stapleton   


Design Argument

_wildlife human co-dwelling

_re-purpose unused 


Urban Framework

_co-dwelling architecture

_pocket nature reserve


Spatial Form

_stewardship program

_salt marsh & recreation

_new building policy


Due to urban sprawl, Staten Island has lost a significant amount of wildlife habitat in the last century. The regional geographical analysis provides an in-deptht investigation of the wildlife habitat conditions and encapsulates a list of ingredients needed for wildlife to thrive 

Site Analysis
Design Argument


#mammals #reptiles

essential components

_change in elevation


_movement and migration


_presence of water


_self-sustained community

si_amped_ecotone_biodiversity_essential components


si_amped_ecotone_concept diagram

Underused infrastructure and pocket space that are not pleasant for human to inhabit are often ideal environments for other wildlife to flourish. The project argues that connecting these preserved, regulated and designed pockets with green corridors can effectively increase the variability of living organisms at Stapleton, Staten Island. 

Urban Framework
si_amped_ecotone_urban framework_concept diagram breakdown
Spatial Form
si_amped_ecotone_co-dwelling_wildlife perspective


si_amped_ecotone_co-dwelling_human perspective



Demand in residential development at Stapleton, Staten Island is increasing rapidly. The abundant Bayley Seton Hospital campus, only 15 min. walking distance from the Stapleton railway station, is an idea site for a new neighborhood scale Biodiversity Heart infused with residential units. The wildlife-human co-dwelling proposal takes only 40% of the plot area. Instead of an aggregated massive architecture, the residential complex is made of 5 buildings nested in hills. The cut and fill strategy creates the framework for the lagoon to nurture wildlife and provides earth needed for the artificial hills. In exchange for affordable rent, tenants are required to be responsible for wildlife management and public space maintenance on site as a true green community. The Biodiversity Heart is the node connecting biocorridors through out Stapleton.

si_amped_ecotone_co-dwelling_land modification
si_amped_ecotone_co-dwelling_architectural program
Pocket Nature Reserve

Pocket Nature Reserve

The basis of Pocket Nature Reserve is to re-purpose underused territories that are often created as side products of city infrastructure. si_[amped]_ecotone re-imagines the unpopular waterfront area and the vacant plots to be the host of nature reserve salt marshes - home to wild marine species. The marsh network also acts as a sponge barrier protecting city from storm surge and coastal flooding during severe event. At the heart of Stapleton, by retrofitting the neglected space underneath the elevated railway, a linear marine biology learning center is introduced to encourage social interaction and to raise public awareness of Staten Island's heritage in biodiversity. Downtown Stapleton and waterfront that were previously cut off by the railway structure are now connected through stitching pathways glide over the marshes.

si_amped_ecotone_pocket nature reserve_wildlife perspective


si_amped_ecotone_pocket nature reserve_human perspective


si_amped_ecotone_pocket nature reserve_land modification
si_amped_ecotone_co-dwelling_architectural program
si_amped_ecotone_biocorridor_wildlife perspective


si_amped_ecotone_biocorridor_human perspective



Biocorridor is created by enforcing a set of new building policies to moderate the effect of wildlife habitat fragmentation caused by human development. Aside from reclaiming some city-owned buildings' rooftops to facilitate wildlife movement between regions, new building is required to have certain percentage of outdoor space completely reserved for elevated wildlife habitat where human is prohibited from entering. The biocorridor at Stapleton overlays on top of Bay Street, the commercial heart of the district that was heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy. To protect building from future flooding, new development is obligated to construct its ground floor above NY's 100-year floodplain. Simple cut and fill strategy is recommended especially at site directly adjacent to salt marshes.

si_amped_ecotone_biocorridor_land modification
si_amped_ecotone_biocorridor_architectural program

si_[amped]_ecotone demonstrates alternative protocols for human-wildlife co-dwelling urbanism. A project where human settlement is not achieved through sacrifice of wildlife inhabitat.

#kaja kuhl #thaddeus pawlowski #ben brady #ellen neises
#david brown #brian baldor #james khamsi #despo thoma
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