Located on the Bushwich Inlet of Brooklyn, NY, the site for a proposed fire station serves as a link between an industrial sector of Greenpoint Brooklyn and residential towers now lining the East River waterfront. The existing brick warehouse meshes with the industrial aesthetic and history surrounding the site, but resists the expanding residential communities. By preserving elements of the existing warehouse opportunity for interaction between the old industrial sector and the new residential sector arises.
Coming from the industrial north side of Franklin Street and Quay Street, the apparatus bay protrudes through a perforation in the existing brick wall. Through massive scale glass bay doors the passer-by can peer in at the firetrucks standing at attention and the firefighters hard at work. Through the apparatus bay, headed towards the western end, program moves from mechanical to residential. Allowing firefighters to have a productive work area adjacent to a middle section of secluded resting quarters that flow through to a space for relaxation and daily living overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
Approaching from the park on the southern border of the Firestation’s site, the user follows a park pathway bridging over the inlet’s freshly rehabilitated wetland and through a perforation on the southern existing brick wall. The pathway flows in and out of the preserved warehouse space that is filled with flexible divisions. Coming from this direction, the user is presented, not with mechanical function, but with public program. Here, pedestrian scale of doorways and walkways encourages a welcoming atmosphere. The user can enter a public lobby, participate in public fire safety education, look out over the wetland wildlife, or visit the Monitor Museum.
User interaction with both the preserved north and south brick walls provide connection between the industrial and the residential, old and new, but in ways specific to opposing programmatic needs.
Personal featured image.