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The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage, overlooking the Hudson River at the corner of Spring Street and West Street, houses three district garages for the NYC Department of Sanitation. The buildings have become iconic and a source of neighborhood pride. Although municipal infrastructure projects are often targeted as undesirable uses, the community has embraced the project and applauded the use of design to successfully integrate critical services into the neighborhood. This pair of public buildings serves close to 300,000 residents.

The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage, overlooking the Hudson River at the corner of Spring Street and West Street, houses three district garages for the NYC Department of Sanitation. The buildings have become iconic and a source of neighborhood pride. Although municipal infrastructure projects are often targeted as undesirable uses, the community has embraced the project and applauded the use of design to successfully integrate critical services into the neighborhood. This pair of public buildings serves close to 300,000 residents.

Before & After
“The Garage and Salt Shed celebrate the role of civic infrastructure by integrating architectural design with sustainability and a sensitivity to the urban context.”
— AIA COTE Awards Jury

The multi-story garage accommodates over 150 sanitation vehicles including trucks, front-end loaders, salt spreaders, heavy-equipment wreckers, and personnel vehicles; including trucks, front-end loaders, salt spreaders, heavy-equipment wreckers, and personnel vehicles; separate vehicle wash and personnel facilities for each district; and centralized fueling and repair facilities.

The multi-story garage accommodates over 150 sanitation vehicles including trucks, front-end loaders, salt spreaders, heavy-equipment wreckers, and personnel vehicles; including trucks, front-end loaders, salt spreaders, heavy-equipment wreckers, and personnel vehicles; separate vehicle wash and personnel facilities for each district; and centralized fueling and repair facilities.

Three Districts, One Home

The team worked closely with DSNY and a Community Board approvals process, in a series of workshops to develop program requirements for a vertically organized multi-district garage. Through this process, opportunities were identified for combining shared spaces, reducing floor to floor heights, and optimizing circulation efficiency.

The team worked closely with DSNY and a Community Board approvals process, in a series of workshops to develop program requirements for a vertically organized multi-district garage. Through this process, opportunities were identified for combining shared spaces, reducing floor to floor heights, and optimizing circulation efficiency.

Multi-Faceted Sustainable Design
1
Innovative architectural design components were integrated for their contribution to sustainability goals, promotion of employee health and well-being, and response to the urban context. A benchmark project for NYC’s Active Design program, the garage achieved LEED Gold certification.
Innovative architectural design components were integrated for their contribution to sustainability goals, promotion of employee health and well-being, and response to the urban context. A benchmark project for NYC’s Active Design program, the garage achieved LEED Gold certification.
Innovative architectural design components were integrated for their contribution to sustainability goals, promotion of employee health and well-being, and response to the urban context. A benchmark project for NYC’s Active Design program, the garage achieved LEED Gold certification.
Read more +
2
A double-skin façade wraps the curtainwall with 2,600 custom perforated-aluminum fins to reduce solar heat gain and glare, obscure mechanical louvers, and shield the view of headlights from neighbors.
A double-skin façade wraps the curtainwall with 2,600 custom perforated-aluminum fins to reduce solar heat gain and glare, obscure mechanical louvers, and shield the view of headlights from neighbors.
A double-skin façade wraps the curtainwall with 2,600 custom perforated-aluminum fins to reduce solar heat gain and glare, obscure mechanical louvers, and shield the view of headlights from neighbors.
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3
The “fifth façade,” a 1.5 acre green roof, protects the roof membrane, reduces heat-island effect, enhances storm water retention and thermal performance, promotes biodiversity of native species, and softens the view from the surrounding buildings.
The “fifth façade,” a 1.5 acre green roof, protects the roof membrane, reduces heat-island effect, enhances storm water retention and thermal performance, promotes biodiversity of native species, and softens the view from the surrounding buildings.
The “fifth façade,” a 1.5 acre green roof, protects the roof membrane, reduces heat-island effect, enhances storm water retention and thermal performance, promotes biodiversity of native species, and softens the view from the surrounding buildings.
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4
The Green Roof was placed as 13,250 pre-planted trays to allow for a quick installation, and also to bring already established plants to the site.
The Green Roof was placed as 13,250 pre-planted trays to allow for a quick installation, and also to bring already established plants to the site.
The Green Roof was placed as 13,250 pre-planted trays to allow for a quick installation, and also to bring already established plants to the site.
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5
Planted with 25 distinct drought-resistant species, the roof requires no permanent irrigation. The bio-diverse variety of plants that means that at any given time during the growing season, something will be in bloom, providing food for pollinators.
Planted with 25 distinct drought-resistant species, the roof requires no permanent irrigation. The bio-diverse variety of plants that means that at any given time during the growing season, something will be in bloom, providing food for pollinators.
Planted with 25 distinct drought-resistant species, the roof requires no permanent irrigation. The bio-diverse variety of plants that means that at any given time during the growing season, something will be in bloom, providing food for pollinators.
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6
The M125 Garage features a waste steam condensate and storm water harvesting system. The precipitation captured from the green roof, and the waste steam condensate—a by-product of municipal steam to heat and cool the building—are both collected and managed on site. Water is re-purposed from these sources for truck washing and reducing potable water use.
The M125 Garage features a waste steam condensate and storm water harvesting system. The precipitation captured from the green roof, and the waste steam condensate—a by-product of municipal steam to heat and cool the building—are both collected and managed on site. Water is re-purposed from these sources for truck washing and reducing potable water use.
The M125 Garage features a waste steam condensate and storm water harvesting system. The precipitation captured from the green roof, and the waste steam condensate—a by-product of municipal steam to heat and cool the building—are both collected and managed on site. Water is re-purposed from these sources for truck washing and reducing potable water use.
Read more +
“The collaboration with the Department of Sanitation and the architects…was extraordinary, creating an environmentally progressive building that meets the challenge of being a good neighbor in a vibrant community. It also demonstrates how to build a welcoming workplace that also responds to the resiliency lessons learned since Hurricane Sandy."
— Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora Sc.D., NYC DDC, 1/22/2016
Long Term Adaptability

Operational flexibility is key to DSNY. As first responders during weather emergencies, the facilities must be available to operate 24-7, without down time for repairs. Longevity and redundancy are built into the design to ensure continuous operation.

To reinforce minimal community impact, extensive vehicle circulation studies were performed to determine locations of entrances and exits to minimize traffic on neighborhood streets and optimize efficiency of interior operations. A series of three-lane interior ramps improve circulation efficiency through a reversible center lane for use during peak activity. The parabolic ramp transitions, designed to accommodate large service trucks, reduce the vibration imparted on the structure.

Operational flexibility is key to DSNY. As first responders during weather emergencies, the facilities must be available to operate 24-7, without down time for repairs. Longevity and redundancy are built into the design to ensure continuous operation.

To reinforce minimal community impact, extensive vehicle circulation studies were performed to determine locations of entrances and exits to minimize traffic on neighborhood streets and optimize efficiency of interior operations. A series of three-lane interior ramps improve circulation efficiency through a reversible center lane for use during peak activity. The parabolic ramp transitions, designed to accommodate large service trucks, reduce the vibration imparted on the structure.

Location
New York, New York
Area
425,000 sf
Completion
2015
Clients
NYC Department of Sanitation
NYC Department of Design and Construction
Collaborators
WXY architecture + urban desgn
Recognition
AIA—COTE Top Ten Award
AIA—Honor Architecture Award
AIA NY—Architecture Honor Award
AIA NYS—Design Award for Excellence
Municipal Art Society—MASterworks Best New Building Award
SARA National—Design Award
SARA NY—Design Award for Sustainability
The Architects Newspaper—Best of Facades
LEED Gold
View Project Facts
Location
New York, New York
Area
425,000 sf
Completion
2015
Clients
NYC Department of Sanitation
NYC Department of Design and Construction
Collaborators
WXY architecture + urban desgn
Recognition
AIA—COTE Top Ten Award
AIA—Honor Architecture Award
AIA NY—Architecture Honor Award
AIA NYS—Design Award for Excellence
Municipal Art Society—MASterworks Best New Building Award
SARA National—Design Award
SARA NY—Design Award for Sustainability
The Architects Newspaper—Best of Facades
LEED Gold
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