Oculus - Winter 2011/2012 - (Page 26)
From NIMBY to YIMBY
©Dattner Architects / PURE rendering
Architects use practical, unexpectedly beautiful designs to turn locally undesirable projects into good neighbors
B Y L I S A DELGA DO
s NYC’s population rises, its civic infrastructure needs to keep pace with residents’ escalating needs. Sometimes new or expanded facilities become necessary to provide services that benefit the wider city population. Certain kinds of infrastructure projects tend to attract vocal NIMBY resistance, though, due to fear of noise, traffic, pollution, lowered property values, or other issues. The prospect of a new garage, sewage treatment plant, or center for the homeless is unlikely to stir warm feelings in the neighbors. There’s an acronym that applies to such projects: LULUs (locally undesirable land uses). Good design, however, can help make such facilities more appealing. In some cases, so-called LULUs can actually turn out to be community assets rather than liabilities, as shown by recent architecture projects fostered by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Design and Construction Excellence (D+CE) program or other city government support.
Sanitation garage: “functional yet attractive”
Dattner Architects and WXY Architecture + Urban Design tackled a controversial project that involved designing a new garage for garbage trucks and a salt shed near the corner of West Street and Spring Street in West SoHo. During the planning stages, the new Manhattan 1/2/5 Garage (so named because it will house garbage trucks for Districts 1, 2, and 5) and the salt shed sparked fierce community opposition, including from celebrities such as musician/artist Laurie Anderson and actor James Gandolfini. Some opponents even launched a lawsuit to
26 Oculus Winter 2011
stop the project, though the suit was defeated in early 2011. The garage is currently under construction and, along with the salt shed, will probably be completed in early 2014. The new structures are part of the D+CE program, managed by the Department of Design + Construction (DDC). The new 425,000-square-foot garage will replace a smaller Manhattan 1 Garage nearby, as well as Manhattan 2 and 5 garages further uptown, which needed to make way for more park space in accordance with the Hudson River Park Act, according to Daniel Klein, the NYC Department of Sanitation’s director of real estate. The prospect of the new, larger garage sparked local concern about noise, traffic, odors, and blocked views from nearby buildings, such as the Urban Glass House, Klein says. However, the new garage is designed to better shield the neighborhood from the trucks than the existing Manhattan 1 Garage, according to Project Principal Paul Bauer, AIA, LEED AP, of Dattner Architects. “Residential development in Tribeca has exploded over the past couple of decades,” says Bauer. “To serve those residents, the fleet of trucks has expanded beyond the capacity of the existing garage, so they are parking on West and Washington Streets.” By contrast, the new garage will be spacious enough to fit all the trucks in an enclosed structure, which “filters the air and shields the sight and sounds of the trucks,” says Design Principal Richard Dattner, FAIA. Moreover, the 120-foot-high building is no taller than other structures in the area and won’t stick out on the skyline.
Up, Down, and Sideways
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Winter 2011/2012
A Word from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
From NIMBY to YIMBY
Complete Streets: If Only Mumford Had Lived to See This
Regional Transit: The Next Generation
Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Winter 2011/2012
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