Staten Island is the fastest growing borough in New York City and the newly completed Precinct 121 serves as the face of the New York Police Department there. The precinct building was designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Vinoly Architects of New York City and makes extensive use of Contrarian Metal Resources' InvariMatte® Stainless Steel on its two-story exterior.
The design of the new precinct building was a collaborative effort involving the architect, the police department and the City of New York Department of Design and Construction. The project was selected by the Art Commission of the City of New York Award for Excellence in Design. The design review agency has been recognizing outstanding public projects for more than a quarter century.
Located at 970 Richmond Avenue, near Foster Avenue, the site is sloped and spans the block. The contemporary building that now sits on it is cantilevered in the front where the second story offers an overhang that shelters the public upon arrival and serves as a gesture of community involvement that defines the main entrance. The building is both two stories and one story with the single story flaring out facing south. The building gradually increases in height linearly as it approaches the commercial district on Richmond Avenue.
“We kept the building to two stories,” explained Fred Wilmers, AIA, LEED AP and Project Director at Rafael Vinoly. “There is quite a hill on the site, so as it goes up the hill the roofline of the building slightly rises from one-story at the back to two-stories at the front.”
Most of the building is clad with panels custom-fabricated by Moon Township, PA-based CENTRIA, from Contrarian's InvariMatte® Stainless Steel. The rest is grey brick. The two facade treatments serve to differentiate the features of the building, as does the varied heights. Outdoor mechanical services are concealed within the building form and integrated into an enclosure clad in InvariMatte.
“The distinctive cantilevered design required all hand-made custom panels. It was the last area to be installed which gave us time to design our panels to fit,” notes Pat Diskin, CENTRIA Project Manager.
The building is a model for sustainable design including the use of recycled asphalt pavement in driving lanes and permeable surfacing in low traffic parking spots. “We developed a storm water management plan that maximizes the use of the larger site,” explained Wilmers. “There are five bio-retention cells that capture the rain that falls on the property which reduces the amount of water that enters the sewer system.”
It was designed to achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the US Green Building Council. LEED addresses the entire lifecycle of the building and recognizes best-in-class building strategies. The program provides third party verification and building projects satisfy prerequisites that are determined to be the best fit for each project. Its goals are to: lower operating costs, increase asset values, conserve energy, water and other resources, be healthier and safer for occupants and qualify for money saving incentives like tax rebates and zoning allowances. When it achieves LEED Silver Certification it will be the first police facility in New York to be designated so under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 sustainable design initiative.
“The distinctive cantilevered design required all hand-made custom panels. It was the last area to be installed which gave us time to design our panels to fit,” explained Pat Diskin, CENTRIA Project Manager, Moon Township, PA.
Precinct 121 is a model for sustainable design and when it achieves LEED Silver Certification it will be the first police facility in New York to be designated so under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 sustainable design initiative.
The spacious building was designed to place detectives closer to the cell areas, a decision made to make it easier to interview prisoners. The site also includes work areas, administrative offices, interview rooms, a processing area, locker rooms, holding cells, lounges, evidence and record storage, a vehicle refueling station and screened parking. There is a skylight above the ground floor lobby that allows natural light to illuminate during daylight hours.
To learn more about products from CENTRIA, click here.
Aerial photo ©Rafeal Vinoly Architects, All others ©Bruce Damonte