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 Vinoly Architects' 121st Police Precinct Station House. This 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. It will be the first police facility in the city so designated under Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC 2030 sustainable design initiative.
The 121st Police Precinct Station House's design responds to the challenges of an irregular site with two distinct building volumes: a two-story linear bar, gently arcing in plan and gradually increasing in height as it approaches the commercial district of Richmond Avenue, and a separate one-story 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-story volume-and a skylight over the interstitial space between them. The long bar structure also shields the residential neighborhood 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.
Acting as a model for buildings within the city of New York, the 121st Precinct incorporates a number of green building techniques. 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.