Brooklyn Detention Center

Brooklyn, NY

2010

The 1100 Architect / RicciGreene Associates Joint Venture proposed renovation and expansion of the Brooklyn Detention Center (BDC) would transform the aging jail into a state-of-the-art, 21st-century civic landmark. The design is informed by five key factors: creating a building of design excellence and high-performance energy efficiency; replacing an artifact from another era with a new paradigm in Brooklyn’s civic and commercial center; addressing key concerns of the neighboring community; introducing best practices to provide humane, normative environments for detainees; and providing a safe and secure environment, both inside the building and within the urban context. The design is a carefully balanced composition, juxtaposing the lightness of the glass curtain wall with the mass of perforated concrete volumes to provide maximum light, air, and security throughout the building.

The BDC received a Merit Award in the Unbuilt Work category of the 2012 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards. At the symposium announcing the winners, jurors described the design as “a really gutsy project” that “[redesigns a building] from being one of the spirit of hopelessness to one that has a real spirit of hopefulness.”

©Vizé

Brooklyn Detention Center

Brooklyn, NY

2010

The existing BDC is located on Atlantic Avenue, a main thoroughfare at the intersection of the Boerum Hill residential neighborhood and the civic and commercial Downtown Brooklyn area.

©Vizé

To create a building in which old and new are fully integrated, the center tower structure of the existing building (indicated by the red dashed line in the site plan above) is preserved and surrounded with new construction that occupies the full extent of the site. The transformed building complements the spirit of the adjacent municipal and commercial buildings and is a good neighbor to the nearby residential community, while almost doubling the size of the facility.

©1100 Architect

The photovoltaic screen at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street functions as a “billboard” that productively advertises the high-performance and energy conservation characteristics of the BDC and New York City’s commitment to leadership in the conservation of energy. The screen also functions as a visually dynamic urban street wall that conceals inmate areas behind it.

©Vizé

A 15,000-square-foot strip of retail space along Atlantic Avenue, serves as an important link to adjacent commercial spaces. The transparency and minimalism of the glass storefronts contrast with the solidity of the concrete mass above. Similarly, multi-story “urban windows” of curtain wall break the concrete façade at several locations to reveal variegated expanses of glass.

©Vizé

The massing mediates between the smaller residential and larger municipal building scales, and the exterior façade deploys a combination of limestone-colored concrete panels and light tones of glass. The facade maximizes the natural light and air in both the new and renovated spaces, making for a more humane and normative environment.

©Vizé

Set backs create further niches for light and air, and allow for outdoor space. The eastern half of the eighth floor is a green roof that offers sustainable benefits for the building, including the possibility of gardens.

©Vizé

Facade Diagram
The two main facade systems – a high-security glass curtain wall and pre-cast concrete cladding panels – are themselves further defined according to which spaces they enclose, relative to privacy and functionality.

©1100 Architect

Incorporating high-performance, sustainable strategies would provide environmental benefits for the Brooklyn community and long-term operational cost savings for the City of New York.

©1100 Architect/Atelier Ten

Warm, light-filled spaces foster normal, socially-responsible behavior and respond to the needs of the detainees. Dining areas, social spaces, and dayrooms receive abundant natural light.

©Vizé

The new housing units are designed to be operated under “direct supervision.”  The dayrooms, outdoor recreation areas and sleeping areas are all localized to the unit, allowing for reduced inmate movement and more efficient monitoring.

©Vizé

Brooklyn Detention Center

Brooklyn, NY

2010

©Vizé

The 1100 Architect / RicciGreene Associates Joint Venture proposed renovation and expansion of the Brooklyn Detention Center (BDC) would transform the aging jail into a state-of-the-art, 21st-century civic landmark. The design is informed by five key factors: creating a building of design excellence and high-performance energy efficiency; replacing an artifact from another era with a new paradigm in Brooklyn’s civic and commercial center; addressing key concerns of the neighboring community; introducing best practices to provide humane, normative environments for detainees; and providing a safe and secure environment, both inside the building and within the urban context. The design is a carefully balanced composition, juxtaposing the lightness of the glass curtain wall with the mass of perforated concrete volumes to provide maximum light, air, and security throughout the building.

The BDC received a Merit Award in the Unbuilt Work category of the 2012 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards. At the symposium announcing the winners, jurors described the design as “a really gutsy project” that “[redesigns a building] from being one of the spirit of hopelessness to one that has a real spirit of hopefulness.”

©Vizé

The existing BDC is located on Atlantic Avenue, a main thoroughfare at the intersection of the Boerum Hill residential neighborhood and the civic and commercial Downtown Brooklyn area.

©1100 Architect

To create a building in which old and new are fully integrated, the center tower structure of the existing building (indicated by the red dashed line in the site plan above) is preserved and surrounded with new construction that occupies the full extent of the site. The transformed building complements the spirit of the adjacent municipal and commercial buildings and is a good neighbor to the nearby residential community, while almost doubling the size of the facility.

©Vizé

The photovoltaic screen at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street functions as a “billboard” that productively advertises the high-performance and energy conservation characteristics of the BDC and New York City’s commitment to leadership in the conservation of energy. The screen also functions as a visually dynamic urban street wall that conceals inmate areas behind it.

©Vizé

A 15,000-square-foot strip of retail space along Atlantic Avenue, serves as an important link to adjacent commercial spaces. The transparency and minimalism of the glass storefronts contrast with the solidity of the concrete mass above. Similarly, multi-story “urban windows” of curtain wall break the concrete façade at several locations to reveal variegated expanses of glass.

©Vizé

The massing mediates between the smaller residential and larger municipal building scales, and the exterior façade deploys a combination of limestone-colored concrete panels and light tones of glass. The facade maximizes the natural light and air in both the new and renovated spaces, making for a more humane and normative environment.

©Vizé

Set backs create further niches for light and air, and allow for outdoor space. The eastern half of the eighth floor is a green roof that offers sustainable benefits for the building, including the possibility of gardens.

©1100 Architect

Facade Diagram
The two main facade systems – a high-security glass curtain wall and pre-cast concrete cladding panels – are themselves further defined according to which spaces they enclose, relative to privacy and functionality.

©1100 Architect/Atelier Ten

Incorporating high-performance, sustainable strategies would provide environmental benefits for the Brooklyn community and long-term operational cost savings for the City of New York.

©Vizé

Warm, light-filled spaces foster normal, socially-responsible behavior and respond to the needs of the detainees. Dining areas, social spaces, and dayrooms receive abundant natural light.

©Vizé

The new housing units are designed to be operated under “direct supervision.”  The dayrooms, outdoor recreation areas and sleeping areas are all localized to the unit, allowing for reduced inmate movement and more efficient monitoring.

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