The Port Authority wanted their new facility to be unique, serve as a landmark in the harbor and be easily recognizable from the water. They also expected that over the years, their needs would change and that the building would need to accommodate that, so they desired a building that was versatile and could adapt to those changes. Low maintenance was also a high priority especially given the building’s location out on the water, where it is subject to a harsh saline environment. Finally, the Port Authority also desired an intelligent building with “high tech” architecture, making use of the latest in technological innovations and energy efficient design.
Designed to fit the site, the five-story volume (including the roof) juts out like an arrow pointing to the ocean. The ground floor is for access and storage, with the first and second levels used as office space and the third and fourth used as open decks. Aluminum slats form a screen around the two office floors, allowing for views while protecting the building from the wind and the sun. Under the rain screen is a glass surface that provides thermal and acoustic insulation. Like the double-skinned facade, the roof also has double coverage with a larger surface that bears the burden of the rain and a second that ensures waterproofing and insulation to prevent energy loss and condensation.
A dramatic exterior, natural daylighting, a strong envelope that protects the interior from the elements, and an energy efficient design all set the CCS Control Building apart. The public building was recently awarded a 2011 LEAF Award for its energy efficient and sustainable design right alongside Steven Holl’s Cite de L’Ocean et du Surf in Biarritz.
Images ©Eloy Taboada