Rafael Viñoly's Staten Island police precinct wins Art Commission award
121st Police Precinct Stationhouse, by Rafael Viñoly Architects, has won the 2007 Award for Excellence in Design by the Art Commission of the City of NY. For over 25 years, the Art Commission has recognized outstanding public projects that exemplify ‘the highest design standards’, selected from among hundreds of submissions reviewed by the Commission each year.
The nearly 49,000 sq ft building, commissioned by the New York City Police Department and the Department of Design and Construction, seeks LEED Silver certification, which, under Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC 2030 sustainable design initiative, will make it the first police facility in the city to achieve this designation.
Staten Island is the city's fastest-growing borough in population, necessitating a greater law enforcement presence. The new stationhouse, located on Richmond Avenue in the Graniteville neighborhood, will reduce the response times and relieve the workloads of the island's two existing precincts. The goal of the design was to satisfy the Police Department's functional requirements while evoking pride and confidence among local residents.
Designed for an irregular site, the linear structure emerges naturally from the landscape, connecting nearby residential neighborhoods to commercial corridors. Its ninety-foot cantilevered second floor canopies over the entrance's wide concrete steps and landscaped approach, reaching out to the street and community beyond. The stationhouse offers substantial work areas, holding cells, on-site outdoor parking for 108 cars, and its own vehicle fueling station.
Rafael Viñoly Architects' project director for the building is Fred Wilmers, who also led the firm's recently-opened Bronx County Hall of Justice project team. Scheduled for bid opening in October, construction will begin in March 2009.