Manglar: Mangrove

La Mujer Puertorriqueña
Mujer de la tierra mía.
Venus y a un tiempo
de la India Occidental.
Vengo a cantar la poesía
de tu gracia tropical.
Mujer de carne de flor.
Dueña del manso cordero.
Digna de que un ruiseñor,
bajo el claro de un lucero,
te cante un canto de amor.
Eres bella entre las bellas
lo mismo cuando el sol gira
sobre tus carnes doncellas,
que cuando el cielo te mira
con sus mil ojos de estrellas.

 Ondulas  como la llama
dormida en el pebetero
cuando a través de la rama
el resplandor del lucero
baja y te besa en la cama.
Siembra lirios en tu piel
la luz plata de tus ojos.
y la copa de un clavel,
llena de sangre y de miel,
se rompe en tus labios rojos.
Encendido de azahares,
su palio el cielo te envía.
Y se abre, ante tus altares,
como una piel, la bahía
atigrada de 
 manglares .

La mujer puertorriqueña, Luis Lloréns Torres

Manglar at Night

The symbology of fallen leaves comes to a crescendo as they collect around New York native shining sumac trees proudly puncturing through the terrain as a symbol of perseverance. 

At night, the unique leave-paver design’s aggregate glows in the dark through the special use of a chemical compound that uses solar energy to charge the aggregate during the day and release it in darkness. These glowing crystals will provide discreet nighttime lighting in addition to echoing the salt secretion of the avicennia. This compound as well as the overall composition of the terrain is designed to be weather resistant and can be flooded. Ultimately, Manglar seeks to highlight the tenacity of the Puerto Rican spirit while underscoring the kinship between Puerto Rico and New York - particularly as both places have strong cultural ties and will continue to grapple with damaging storm events and uncertain coastal futures. 

Proposal Team: Millan Bravo, Ariel Millan, WXY architecture + design, Claire Weisz

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico’s southeastern coast. The category five hurricane decimated the island’s people, wildlife and infrastructure. Though the initial death toll numbers were controversially low, current estimates indicate that approximately 4,645 perished during the event and its aftermath; making Hurricane Maria the deadliest natural disaster in recent US history [Harvard University]. In addition to the unfortunate casualties, the island’s landscape also took a major hit as the lush green that coated its surface, turned into dark brown hues. Out of the many species impacted by Hurricane Maria, mangroves have been able to make a particularly speedy recovery due to their unique biological characteristics. 


We have chosen the black mangrove (avicennia germinans) as a conceptual and symbolic metaphor throughout our design for Manglar, our team’s proposal for the Hurricane Maria Memorial competition. Manglar is composed of a topography that drapes over the Battery City Park Esplanade to create spaces of congregation, reflection, and remembrance. The topography is clad in 4,645 leaf-patterned pavers that correspond to the number of those who lost their lives during Hurricane Maria and its aftermath.

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