Billion Oyster Project Headquarters

Governors Island, New York
Ongoing Project


Oysters are remarkable creatures that filter nitrogen pollution from water—supporting rich, diverse, and abundant ecosystems. How can we support the oysters?

The Billion Oyster Project is a nonprofit organization restoring oyster reefs to New York Harbor through public education initiatives. Their vision for the harbor is a world-class public space, well used and well cared for—our Commons.

This body of work is an ongoing study and design proposal for The Billion Oyster Project’s headquarters facility. Our goal is to translate the organization’s essence into architecture by adapting a historic structure on Governors Island to become a net-zero, sustainable building that serves to educate. We imagine a building that generates its own power; breathes and filters air; circulates water and heat so not to waste it; absorbs stormwater to grow beautiful plants and habitats for bees and butterflies; fluctuates with the seasons, insulates to keep itself warm and protected; and finally, a building that hosts people and organisms of all kinds.

A Short HIstory of New York Harbor

Centuries ago, New York Harbor was a diverse ecosystem full of life. That all changed with the growth of New York City and the Industrial Revolution. Life in the harbor was lost to serious pollution and over-harvesting of marine life. The Clean Water Act of 1972 began to turn things around. Today, restoration efforts and The Billion Oyster Project are creating a future New York Harbor - one that is happy, healthy, and productive.