Hudson Rising: Living Breakwaters

New York, NY
  • Resilience / Climate Adaptation
  • Ecological Design
  • Publication / Exhibition

In 2019, SCAPE contributed to the New York Historical Society’s Hudson Rising, an exhibition exploring 200 years of ecological change and environmental activism along the Hudson River.

The final section of the exhibition, A Rising Tide: Today, discussed innovative efforts by designers and engineers to re-imagine the Hudson River in the 21st century, including a large-scale installation and video projection based on SCAPE’s Living Breakwaters project.

Custom built for the exhibition, the installation displays one of the “reef ridges” incorporated as part of the breakwaters—rocky protrusions on the ocean-facing sides of the breakwaters—built of stone and ecologically-enhanced concrete units that support a wide variety of marine life, including oysters, fin fish, and other species.

The accompanying video describes the project’s origins as part of the post-Superstorm Sandy competition Rebuild By Design to the present day, animating the project’s physical components; its ability to attenuate waves and reverse shoreline erosion; its potential to regenerate habitat; and its social resilience benefits in the adjacent community of Tottenville, Staten Island, which was devastated by Sandy.

Learn more:


  • New York Historical Society (NYHS)


Courtesy NYS Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), client for Living Breakwaters