Greenpoint EMS Station

Brooklyn, New York

The Greenpoint Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a new, two-story, 12,400-square-foot facility that is part of an NYC program to improve response times to medical emergencies throughout the city. Commissioned by the Department of Design and Construction as part of mayor Bloomberg’s Design Excellence Program, the building is a trenchant example of the new paradigm for New York City municipal architecture.

Greenpoint EMS Station

Brooklyn, New York

The Greenpoint Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a new, two-story, 12,400-square-foot facility that is part of an NYC program to improve response times to medical emergencies throughout the city.  Located on a prominent site in the growing Brooklyn, NY neighborhood of Williamsburg, it supports the Fire Department of New York ambulance vehicles and crews who have come to consider the station a second home. Commissioned by the Department of Design and Construction as part of mayor Bloomberg’s Design Excellence Program, the building is a trenchant example of the new paradigm for New York City municipal architecture.

The station’s requirements for vehicles and staff led to a four-part organization of the interior.  The east side which houses the four ambulances and command vehicle requires higher ceilings than the rest of the station and this increase in height helps organize the building’s functions.  On the lower west side are the lieutenant’s office, captain’s office, and other administrative space.    On the second floor above the vehicle bays are locker rooms and bathrooms for the 54 women and 97 men who maintain the station’s three shifts. Across the atrium, to the west, is a fitness facility, training room, and 700-square-foot combined kitchen and lounge area.  The first floor’s different ceiling heights repeat at the roof line.  The architects mark it with a skylight that extends from the front to the back of the building bringing daylight to the second floor and through an opening in the floor to the ground level.  The double height glass-enclosed entry also marks the division between functions and is filled with natural light.

On the exterior, FDNY-red, roll-up doors on the vehicle side introduce bright color for what is otherwise a cool, glass façade.  Providing a diagonal sculptural break is the transparent exit stair, covered with glass-enclosed perforated aluminum panels, that runs parallel along the street façade, connecting the entrance with the second floor. The 90-foot-long, second-story translucent glass wall with a honeycomb pattern set into the glass, appears to float above the ground floor and helps to form the building’s strong identity. Aglow in the evening, the Greenpoint EMS Station has become a distinct presence in the Williamsburg community.

Completed:2013
Photography byAlexander Severin