Viñoly's 121st Police Precinct Station heralds new generation of sustainable buildings
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined New York Police Department Commissioner Ray W. Kelly, Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David J. Burney FAIA along with Staten Island elected officials on Thursday to celebrate the groundbreaking of Rafael Viñoly Architects 121st Police Precinct Station House. As the first police facility in New York to be designated under the Mayor's PlaNYC 2030 sustainable design initiative, Viñoly's project is a celebration of a new generation of responsible design.
The building will function as the headquarters of Staten Island’s first new police precinct in decades. Responding to the borough’s rapidly growing population, the 121st Police Precinct will fill the need of an expanded law enforcement presence, cutting response times and relieving the workload of existing precincts. The 121st Precinct Station House is a model for green design, as it seeks to achieve LEED Silver certification. Site-related interventions such as brownfield reclamation, stormwater management, bio-retention areas, and drought-resistant landscaping are all in evidence and the east-west orientation of the building is ideal for energy conservation.
The 121st Police Precinct Station House’s design responds to the challenges of an irregular site with two distinct building volumes: a two-storey linear bar, gently arcing in plan and gradually increasing in height as it approaches the commercial district of Richmond Avenue, and a separate one-storey volume where the site flares outward to the south. The second floor cantilevers over toward Richmond Avenue symbolically reaching out to engage the community. This cantilever defines the main entrance and creates a visual link between the main lobby and Richmond Avenue.
The Station House’s two building masses are distinguished by varied heights, differing surface treatments—horizontal stainless steel cladding on the long bar, gray brick on the one-storey volume - and a skylight over the interstitial space between them. The long bar structure also shields the residential neighbourhood to the north from the police parking lot to the south. Outdoor mechanical services are concealed within the form, integrated into an enclosure clad in the same stainless steel.