From the site of the Bushwick Inlet surrounds a seeming opposition of historic brick clad buildings and new glass encased high towers coexist with little effort. Using the client’s, the People’s Firehouse, intent to reestablish firehouse 212 and the historical ties a units had to its community the new building’s design needed to connect history with modern firefighting conventions.
The apparatus bay, being of the public’s largest interest in fire stations, faces the Bushwick Inlet Park. By situating it between the public Monitor Museum and the private firehouse, the apparatus bay intertwines the two social settings. The museum lines the northern street to pull attention from the southern park and commuters, while the formerly segregated fire house sits further within the park for proximity to the water’s edge for shore fire rescues and to engage the community as pedestrians cross between the building and its dock.
The form frames the existing corner created by intersecting streets to act as an intermediary between the park and urban conditions. The bay also acts as a transitional form for the public by utilizing the truss height required for the large span as a path for people to go from the museum to the firehouse, enabling both programs to unite in one experience.
Using the complex as a transitional space between urban contexts relates to the backdrop of ongoing evolution of the cityscape. The connection is further anchored to the site by the apparatus bay’s intervention between private and public spaces to reintroduce the community to the historical relevance they had on fire station 212.
Photograph by Megan Shrout