You know Atlantic City as the gambling capital of the East Coast, or perhaps as the backdrop for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire or home of the Miss America pageant. But what was once dubbed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as “Las Vegas East” has recently been racked by the shuttering of four major casinos last year, three of which went bankrupt.
So Perkins+Will, the global architecture and design firm known for its work in health care and material health, recently reimagined a new future for Atlantic City in an inventive proposal. Instead of a gambling town, A.C. would become a research hub dedicated to studying climate change and coastal resiliency, its emptying casino-hotels converted into homes for scientists and ecological policy wonks. The basement space usually dedicated to slot machines could be converted into research space or large-scale models to simulate various disasters, according to Perkins+Will’s vision.
“If somebody wanted to test structures being able to withstand flooding or wind, you could imagine creating a wind tunnel or some sort of floodable space,” Perkins+Will senior urban designer planner Daniel Windsor told Fast Company. “Or if it’s about emergency response, you can imagine creating these large-scale command center simulators where people can come in and train on software or large command-center-like simulations.” […]