Situated on the Lower Manhattan waterfront, near Hudson River Park, the new Spring Street Salt Shed can hold up to 5,000 tons of de-icing road salt.
But it’s no ordinary “shed.”
Taking inspiration from the crystalline form of salt itself, the 69-foot tall building evokes other analogies. As David W. Dunlap of The New York Times describes it: “Folded, creased, dimpled and chamfered, its windowless, enigmatic facade is like a monumental work of origami.”
And it doesn’t stand alone.
Partnered with a five-story, 425,000-square-foot New York City Department of Sanitation garage, also designed by Dattner Architects with WXY Architecture + Urban Design, the two buildings share more than proximity.
The buildings share a palpable sense of responsibility for their role in their neighborhoods. Let us count (some of) the ways:
- the garage has a sound-blocking curtain wall for noise reduction
- to stay in tune with surrounding buildings, the garage’s height was kept low, retaining the character of the neighborhood
- topped with a “green roof” the LEED-certified garage offers, along with energy and environmental benefits, visual pleasure for those who overlook it from nearby buildings
- along the street, the Salt Shed’s walls gently taper in, providing ample pedestrian space
- inside, too, there’s consideration for multiple stakeholders as the garage includes a gym for employees and a central staircase invites them to opt to take the stairs rather than energy-intensive elevators (it’s part of the NYC Active Design program)
- from a broader perspective, the integration of important utility buildings throughout the city reduces undue burdens on any one area, while also minimizing vehicle miles, with corresponding improvements in air quality
Similarly, how could your next creative project synergistically incorporate the values of “sharing” across a range of dimensions and constraints: aesthetics, sustainability, health and well-being, efficiency, collective responsibility and “neighborliness”? . . .
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