Public service buildings in NYC are taking a more environmentally friendly turn. City officials gathered last week to announce the opening of a new green intake center for the homeless, the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) building in The Bronx. Designed by Ennead Architects, the PATH project was commissioned for the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), as part of the Design and Construction Excellence program. The building is expect to receive a LEED silver rating.
The 76,823 square foot building was designed and built specifically for the purpose of serving homeless families more efficiently during the intake process. The more active areas where families will be screened the first and concourse levels are designed for physical accessibility and to better facilitate the flow of clients through the evaluation process. Floors two to seven house the administrative area, client interview rooms, and waiting areas in large, loft like areas that benefit from the natural flow of the sun light. Thanks to south facing spaces and large windows, nearly every area is filled with natural light.
PATH was designed to better fit the diverse surroundings and characteristics of the area in order to better connect with the local community. The material chosen for the facades is in fact a very interesting effort to embody the Bronx environment. The terra cotta matches the brick architecture of the residential buildings, while the zinc and metal trim tracery add a touch of industrial aesthetic “consistent with the nearby manufacturing district.”
The building is designed to receive LEED Silver certification and incorporates a variety of high performance systems integrated into the design. Sustainable features include a green roof, rainwater collection, a rainscreen façade system, daylighting, and recycled building materials. In addition, the designers used eco-friendly demolition and construction waste management.
All photos © Jeff Goldberg/Esto for Ennead Architects