Ver Nautica: Ferry Lab

New York, NY

A decommissioned Shelter Island ferry serves as the canvas for a pioneering project to create a floating laboratory, classroom and civic space for New York City’s sixth borough- the New York Harbor. The boat can float from borough to borough providing school kids with access to the water to learn about the environment, ecology, economy and history of the harbor. The structure is large enough for event programming and is intended to become an important public space for the city. Ver Nautica will reach a large audience of New Yorkers as a mobile and sustainable educational facility in New York’s blue network.

DLANDstudio’s design for Ver Nautica uses alternative fuels and clean energy (such as wind and solar power) to generate electricity; Water conservation is taken seriously on Ver Nautica; grey-water is treated and re-used for on-board plant irrigation, hydroponic food production and a range of composting strategies. A glassy double height space holds public exhibition, lab and educational rooms that open to extended decks at the bow and stern with portholes below deck for underwater observation and testing. Services are located in a central core for privacy, efficiency and functionality. The layout facilitates easy conversion from public space to private space for subsequent development of residential models in the future. The roof-scape will be productive and habitable with decking, green-roof planting and solar panels for energy capture. As New York further develops its varied and storied waterfront, Ver Nautica can serve as a model stewardship, education and design for marine life.