Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation cut the ribbon on its newest and greenest facility, an innovative 15,500 square foot multi-use building serving North Brooklyn’s waterfront. Designed by Kiss + Cathcart, Architects, this wedge-shaped structure seamlessly draws the adjacent park up onto its roof to create a new public landscape looking out to the East River and the Manhattan skyline.
Bushwick Inlet Park is the first phase in transforming Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s industrial riverfront into a continuous strip of green space and public amenities. From 2008 to 2011 an empty parking lot between N. 9th and N. 10th Streets from Kent Avenue to the river was converted into a native riverfront landscape and multipurpose athletic field. The new building, as the final component, adds venues for both community programs and park operations.
Extending New York City’s tradition of intensively used parks, the building is covered by an occupiable green roof that keeps 100% of the park’s area available to the public. A meandering, accessible path up this grassy slope serves a series of activity areas culminating in a shaded overlook.
Gregory Kiss, Principal of the firm, says: “This is the most environmentally productive public building in New York City right now – with the highest percentage of on-site solar energy generation, green roof irrigation entirely from rainfall and reclaimed water, and zero stormwater discharge to the combined sewer. But what we are proudest of is the fact that this project invites intensive use, inside and out, from a community that has long been starved for public space.”
Essentially an earth-sheltered, semi-underground structure, the building envelope combines with high performance systems, such as ground source heat pumps, to dramatically reduce energy consumption. A 66-kilowatt photovoltaic array crowns the shade structure along Kent Avenue. This dynamically angled canopy is both an integral part of the architecture and an energy source, which will supply half of the building's annual usage. Although the building is under a hill, all occupied interior spaces are abundantly daylit.
The Department of Parks and Recreation will use a portion of the building for local maintenance and operations, greatly improving their access to all parks in North Brooklyn. The community spaces will be run by the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, a not-for-profit working to develop and restore parks in the Greenpoint and Williamsburg communities.