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05.19.2008
Unveiled: The 121st Police Precinct Stationhouse
Rafael Vinoly Architects designs NYC's first green police station
Courtesy Rafael Vinoly Architects

The Art Commission of the City of New York, the design review agency that authorizes permanent works of art, architecture, and landscape on city-owned property, has approved Rafael Viñoly Architects' design for Staten Island’s 121st Police Precinct Stationhouse. The nearly 49,000-square-foot facility will seek a LEED Silver rating, in accordance with Local Law 86, which requires most new city buildings to meet these standards. It will be the first green police station in the five boroughs.

The architects responded to the irregular site by arranging the facility’s work areas and holding cells in two distinct volumes: a long, stainless steel–clad form that arcs in plan and ascends in height as it nears Richmond Avenue, and a one-story gray brick volume where the site flares outward to the south. A skylight over the interstitial space between the two volumes will help to bring daylight into the interior. In a heroic gesture, the main structure’s second story cantilevers 90 feet out toward the street, sheltering the entrance’s wide concrete steps and landscaped approach. This stretched form also shields the residential neighborhood to the north from the outdoor police parking lot, which has space for 108 cars and a vehicle fueling station.

The project is scheduled for a bid opening in October, and construction is expected to begin in March 2009. 

Project: 121st Police Precinct Stationhouse
Architect: Rafael Viñoly Architects
Location: Graniteville, Staten Island
Client: New York City Police Department, Department of Design and Construction

Aaron Seward