in new york, SOM has completed a new facility designed to enhance NYC’s 911 emergency response system. contained within a perfect cube, the public safety answering center II (PSAC II) brings together multiple city agencies, including the police department, the fire department, and emergency medical services. located on a prominent nine-acre site in the bronx, the 450,000 square foot building has been designed to be as secure as possible, while still contributing to the surrounding urban fabric.


the building is located on a prominent nine-acre site in the bronx
image and video courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto

 

 

serving as a back-up facility to the city’s primary call center, PSAC II increases new york city’s ability to maintain communication in the event of a natural disaster or large-scale emergency. designed by SOM as a perfect cube, the structure’s almost windowless elevations are the result of security concerns. to reduce the building’s monolithic appearance, the architects developed a serrated façade that includes recycled aluminum.


a raised bank of wild grass helps to protect the facility
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto

 

 

the cubic structure is bordered by a raised bank of wild grass, which helps to protect the facility and shield views of the surface parking from the nearby hutchinson river and pelham parkways. the landscape, which requires no irrigation, also offers the building’s occupants a connection with the natural world. meanwhile, the project’s interiors are designed to be soothing environments for the site’s emergency response teams.


the facility has been designed to enhance NYC’s 911 emergency response system
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto

 

 

the main gathering space includes a plant wall developed by CASE, the design research laboratory of SOM, in partnership with rensselaer polytechnic institute. this feature not only brings nature inside the building, but also filters air and reduces overall energy use. PSAC II is targeting LEED gold certification.


the architects developed a serrated façade that includes recycled aluminum
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto


the almost windowless elevations are the result of security concerns
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto


the site’s landscaping requires no irrigation
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto


the main gathering space includes a plant wall
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto


the project’s interiors have been designed to be as soothing as possible
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto


a small and secluded outdoor area provides a connection with nature
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto

 

 

timelapse illustrating how the appearance of the façade changes throughout the day
video courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto


the 450,000 square foot building has been designed to be as secure as possible
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto


the scheme seeks to contribute to the surrounding urban fabric
image courtesy SOM / © albert vecerka | esto

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: public safety answering center II
location: the bronx, new york
project completion: 2016
project area: 450,000 sqf / 41,806 sqm
market: civic + government
service: architecture, interior design

 

client: new york city department of design and construction
architect and interior designer: skidmore, owings & merrill LLP (SOM)
design partner: gary haney
managing partner: laura ettelman
managing partner: peter magill
technical partner: carl galioto
interior design partner: stephen apking
managing director: mark regulinski
technical director: nicholas holt
project manager: emily mottolese
project manager: mark leininger
project manager: joseph sacco
senior design architect: rob rothblatt
senior interior designer: cynthia mirbach
senior technical coordinator: carl brown
senior technical architect: lesley campbell
senior technical architect: ross goldsworthy

 

structural engineer: thornton tomasetti
MEP engineer: jaros baum & bolles
civil engineer: philip habib & associates
geotechnical engineer: langan engineering & environmental services
construction manager: tishman construction
active modular phytoremediation wall system (AMPS): center for architecture science & ecology (CASE)
sustainability consultant: vidaris
landscape architect: thomas balsley associates
graphic designer: lebowitz/gould design, inc.
lighting designer: domingo gonzalez associates
blast designer: thornton tomasetti
security design consultant: shen milson & wilke, LLC
acoustical and vibration designer: shen milson & wilke, LLC
vertical transportation consultant: van deusen & associates
code consultant: milrose consultants
cost estimating consultant: ellana, inc.
kitchen consultant: hopkins foodservice specialists, inc.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

  • Interesting that people most prepared to deal with insecurity seem to need the highest security? Even local, small police stations resemble convenience stores in 1980-90s Detroit.

    Jim

    JimCan says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

(152 articles)

(364 articles)

(39 articles)

architecture news