Bridgeport Resiliency & City Infrastructure Revitalization

2nd Year Core Urban Studio
Spring 2015

Keller Easterling


As sea level rise, the city of Bridgeport remains to be Connecticut’s front runner for a major flood disaster. The city that had once been home to innovations ranging from Frisbees to the Subway sandwich, is now ridden with poverty and many of the urban problems associated with de-industralized cities (in addition to flooding).

Specifically in the south western area of Black Rock, a small collective of Eco related  industries has started to thrive with the support of the new Mayor. Our proposal of a Bridgeport Eco Industrial Park taps into that potential of Black Rock by attracting new industries, businesses, and tourism to Connecticut’s largest community of industrial symbiosis.

Rising flood insurance premiums and water level will eventually force existing industries to self berm. Instead we propose a collective berm that will not only cost significantly less, but will also protect the whole zone, while having surplus for the improvement of the park.

Identification of major and minor existing industries as well as non taxable lots with the potential to generate more income for the city, while improvements of the Eco Park include a wetland park serves as an educational tool as well as a water sponge for the area.

 Phase 1: The collective berm as a protective barrier, main path and infrastructural spine, aiding the sharing of resources.

Phase 1: The collective berm as a protective barrier, main path and infrastructural spine, aiding the sharing of resources.

In the Eco park, the byproduct of one industry becomes in the input of another creating an orchestrated loop of waste products. Taking advantage of the proximity of existing industries (0.5 miles radius), the symbiotic exchange is organized around 2 loops, anchored around Wheelabrator waste management, and Bridgeport’s own waste water treatment plant.

The two anchors connect to a large potential of industrial performers, enhancing the efficiency and value at each step of the process.

The building primarily focuses on the convergence of these different strands: students, general academic public and the public in general, which is expressed in the porosity of the lower floors. The upper floors houses architecture studios and workshops which become part of PennDesign’s identity.

The knot of confluence, atelier and fabrication houses the fundamental principle that architecture as a discipline builds real, physical and tangible space with the aid, exploration and manipulation of materials. 

As such fabrication tools and studios are nestled and integrated with one another while conference space on the lower level marks the school as a learning field within the larger architecture sphere we operate in, facilitating in interdisciplinary and inter agency learning beyond the boundaries of the university.

The park aims to ultimately be a catalyst for development, an educational tool, a measure for flood protection and a cultural icon that would put Bridgeport back on the map.