The competition proposal of Henning Larsen Architects for the New York Olympic City is a future city landscape based on ecological principles.
In order to act as host city of the Olympic Games, the area around Queens in the million-dollar city of New York had to be reorganised in a masterplan. The proposal of Henning Larsen Architects called The Olympic Village is characterised by five overall values: identity, diversity, accessibility, permeability and sustainability.
The Olympic Village contributes to its immediate as well as its wider environment – as an icon viewed from Manhattan and as a city centre of excellence in Queens West.
The area has the shape of a plateau with green public and semi-public spaces with focus on activity and city life. The plateau landscape offers different and varying views from Queens and provides easy access to and from the area. Water is the predominant element and there is public access to the waterfront.
The masterplan presents a vision that meets the needs of single events as for instance the Olympic Games and which is also geared to an unknown future where attraction values such as the city’s proximity to water and nature as well as extra housing will be coveted. The area should invite everyone regardless of background, age and way of life to live out their dream – as is the case in the Olympic Games.
The proposal of Henning Larsen Architects was one of five international entries selected for the final round of competition in 2004.
The masterplan for NYC 2012 is based on sustainability and the special infrastructure based on small sustainable units enables a CO2-neutral and waste-free wildlife habitat with an urban density that contributes to making the area attractive and interesting.
The area is organised as small, decentralised communities or "hubs" functioning as independent energy producers based on modern sustainability technologies. The decentralised hubs enable energy optimization and thus increase energy efficiency from 30 % to 70 %. The applied sustainability technologies also offer a learning value as visitors are offered a guided tour in the nine different hubs to learn about sustainable architecture and future technologies in action.
The citizens of the area can leave and receive recycling materials at their local hub and - together with the other hubs - create an ecological federation based on collection of rain water, composting, recycling of waste water, solar energy, wind power and cooling by means of water from the nearby rivers.