Reimagine the Canals Competition, Phase 1 2018
Sponsors: New York Power Authority (NYPA) and New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC)
Team: Clare Lyster with John Leano
One of 7 projects selected for Phase 2
Winterscape explores the adaptive reuse of the canal system in wintertime through the design of a dedicated winter recreational landscape along a selected stretch of the Erie canal. The winterscape would be both land borne, occupying an area adjacent the canal edge as well as in the space of the canal itself. For example, in a drained lock. The Erie canal closes to navigation in mid to late November each year and does not reopen again until April. During this time sections of thewaterway are drained. Guard gates are dropped in Pendleton, blocking water flow from the Niagara river. As winter progresses, water levels continue to reduce allowing maintenance and repair of the canal bank walls and lock gates as required. In summary, parts of the canal in the western section are empty for 4-5 months of the year. Our proposal leverages the dewatering of the canal, when water levels can drop by as much as 14’, making it conceivable to occupy and program the canal bed from November to March.