Williamsburg and Greenpoint -- the Kremlin of hipsterdom -- have a problem: Whenever a kid runs his fixed gear bike into a powder-blue Vespa or a guy gores himself on moose antlers in a bar, the fire department's EMS trucks have to motor in from a hospital miles away.
So to proceed with greater dispatch and, we presume, cut back on all those moose-antler casualties, the FDNY is building the neighborhoods their very own EMS facility. And here's a surprise: The design -- by the small Manhattan firm Michielli + Wyetzner Architects -- isn't half bad.
At least the pictures suggest as much. The building'll be called the Greepoint Emergency Medical Service Station, and it'll throw 12,400 square feet of vehicle parking, admin offices, equipment storage, a fitness room, and lounge space behind a low-slung stretch of slick, patterned glass. The glass cuts away on one side to make room for a stairwell covered in perforated metal. (We applaud Michielli + Wyetzner for using the latter sparingly, perforated metal being the average architect's go-to material to evoke "gritty urban.?) All told, the look is fresh and minimal and yet still, unmistakably, an FDNY building. Note the fire-engine red paint job on the garage. More details from the architects" press write-up:
On the exterior, roll-up red doors on the vehicle side introduce bright color for what is otherwise a primarily cool, glass façade. Providing a diagonal sculptural break is the transparent exit stair, with perforated aluminum sandwiched between two sheets of glass, 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 honey comb pattern set into the glass, appears to float above the ground floor and is part of the building's strong identity. Aglow in the evening, the new Greenpoint EMS Station will be a distinct presence in the Williamsburg community.
Which goes a long way toward saying that the place is designed to be every bit as cool as the residents it'll serve try to be. The station's expected to open on Metropolitan Avenue in August of 2012.
[Images courtesy of Michielli + Wyetzner Architects]