suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
GRO Architects (nicole ROBERTSON + richard GARBER): The new Gansevoort Marine Transfer Station for Recyclables and Environmental Center (GMTS) is one for several such facilities proposed by Mayor Bloomberg to better equip the city to handle increasing amounts of recyclable materials including plastics, metal and glass. Challenged by the project’s prominent, and controversial, location at the edge of the West Village, our design seeks to buffer the operations of the facility through formal and programmatic design strategies.
Truck and barge logistics form the underlying geometry for the mounded green berms of the project’s roof which is both “tipping floor” and nature preserve, attracting migratory birds while serving to conceal and buffer the operations of the facility from the surrounding park and neighborhood. The inclusion of environmental education programs below the undulating concrete roof scape exposes the process of transferring these materials from truck to barge, creating a unique educational experience for visitors to the facility. Engaging architectural design with innovative engineering and landscape strategies, the GMTS is both an example and a prototype for balancing local and global objectives.
At the core of our proposal is the efficient organization and choreography of truck and barge logistics to ensure the smooth operation of recyclables transfer. This objective is accomplished through the implementation of an efficient dumping schedule that accommodates the number of trucks on the site, while minimizing their queuing time and preventing a back up of trucks on the street. This will ensure that air and noise pollution for the park and surrounding neighborhood is minimized.
By rethinking the organization of the new GMTS, we can minimize the impact that the processes and physical infrastructure of the station have on the visual, auditory, recreational and ecological environments in close proximity to the Gansevoort Peninsula. The grounds surrounding the dumping zones on the upper tipping floor level of the station are mounded and planted, providing a visual and auditory buffer for the Hudson River Park while creating a natural nesting area for migratory birds.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
GRO: A crushed Coke can we saw in the street on West Broadway one day.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
GRO: The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon; we’ve also started re-digging into Bataille’s The Accursed Share.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
GRO: Georges Bataille, and Mario Carpo’s soon-to-be published AD Reader “The Digital Turn in Architecture, 1990-2010”
Client: New York City Department of Sanitation
Architect: GRO Architects: Nicole Robertson + Richard Garber, Principals; Justin Foster, Ahmed Emara, Liam Morrow
Engineer: Buro Happold Consulting Engineers: Craig Schwitter, Gijs Libourel
Landscape Architect: Starr Whitehouse: Laura Starr
Square Footage: 54,700sf
—Tipping Floor and landscaped roof: 34,600 sf
—Theatre: 4,500 sf
—Barge Level: 15,600 sf
Project value: $45M