Best of 2006 Awards
New York City Office of Emergency Management
AWARD OF MERIT: Adaptive Reuse
The devastation wrought by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, included the destruction of the New York City Office of Emergency Management headquarters in 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story tower in Lower Manhattan that collapsed.
This year, the agency moved into its new permanent home across the East River in Brooklyn, a three-story, 66,245-sq.-ft. facility that draws from lessons learned on that tragic day.
The $43 million project, designed by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects of New York and built by Bovis Lend Lease of New York, the construction manager, converted a 1954 building in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, which formerly had served as the New York home of the American Red Cross, into a modern facility equipped with the high-tech systems needed to manage the city’s emergencies.
The project involved demolishing a portion of the existing structure and adding an 8,000-sq.-ft. steel frame addition to the south side of the building. The project team also demolished and abated the existing interiors and raised the roof in the center of the building to accommodate the main high-tech operations room of the emergency center.
Building the new operations space in the center area required demolition of the existing building core. The team located the new fire stairs, elevators, toilets, and main entrance in the south-side addition.
“There were a lot of logistics and new features in this building that made a difference,” one judge said.
The team had to work closely with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to avoid causing damage to neighboring subway infrastructure. It also modified the site to help preserve mature trees. The exterior design centered on the dual goal of creating a strong public face to accent the building’s prominent location in Cadman Plaza, a neighborhood hub, as well as molding a secure inner sanctum that could support the agency’s mission critical purpose. Crews added 20,500 sq. ft. of limestone to the exterior, which melded it into the surrounding architecture.
The exterior also features 19,500 sq. ft. of zinc panels, as well as window wall and curtain wall made of aluminum and glass.
On the interior, fit-out materials and systems were chosen to save energy, reduce water consumption, and provide a healthier indoor environment. That will help the building become the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design headquarters office for a New York City agency.
It has logged enough points for the “certified” LEED level, but may end up earning a higher level.
Another judge didn’t mince words about the project’s dramatic effect. “They’ve taken a pretty crappy ’50s building and transformed it and the plaza around it into a nice, modern space,” the judge said.
Owner-Developer: New York City Office of Emergency Management
Program Manager: New York City Department of Design and Construction
Architect: Swanke Hayden Connell Architects
Construction Manager: Bovis Lend Lease
General Contractor: Navillus Contracting
Structural Engineer: Weidlinger Associates
Civil Engineer: Philip Habib and Associates
Steel: P&M Steel Erectors & Fabricators
Concrete: New York Concrete
Plumbing: Olympic Plumbing and Heating
HVAC: Taggart Associates
Electrical-Fire-Security: ASR Electrical Contracting
Exterior Metal: Air Flex