Ennead completes new home for New York's Bravest
This high performance, durable, well-organised, maintainable 'machine' is one of five special operations rescue facilities in New York City. In addition to firefighting, these elite companies respond to more specialised emergency situations such as building collapses, subway emergencies and scuba operations and thus have special infrastructure and equipment storage requirements.
Inspired by the firefighters and their gear, the design for this new firehouse reflects the tradition of invention, experimentation, efficiency and rigorous training that characterises the FDNY. In addition to the spaces typically found in fire stations – offices, dining facilities, dormitory, an Apparatus Bay for the Company’s vehicles – the building contains specialised spaces for training, storage and maintenance. The central, double height Apparatus Bay is the most important element in the house with all programmatic elements radiating around and above. Work spaces such as the Workshop, Lumber Shop, Housewatch and numerous storage rooms directly support the continuous operation of the Apparatus Rigs. Visual continuity between the upper levels of the building and the Apparatus Bay is effected by expanses of glass and reinforces the central importance of the space.
Responding to the restricted site, functions are stacked: physical work areas and storage occupy the ground and basement levels; rest, study and dining are at the second level; and training and fitness spaces are at the mezzanine level. The primary design elements of the building’s east façade are oversized FDNY-red apparatus doors, which express the building’s identity as a FDNY facility and create an open, yet secure street presence. Alternating glass and metal panels fill the void between the apparatus doors and building shell, which is flanked by metal and masonry.