On Memorial Day, some of the NYC beaches hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy got a new start with the opening of a slew of new flood-proof, prefab lifeguard stations, comfort stations and offices designed by Garrison Architects. Inhabitat recently checked out a few of these futuristic, prefab structures at Rockaway Beach. Step inside our photo gallery to see some of the interior and exterior details of these elevated, self-ventilated, solar-powered structures.
After the superstorm, Rockaway Beach, Coney Island, Midland Beach, Wolfe’s Pond Park and Cedar Grove were left with just the tattered shambles of what used to be their restrooms and other beach structures. The city knew that it had to rebuild in order to open these popular beaches back to their communities for summer 2013, but fast-tracking the design and construction of these buildings to a matter of months proved to be a challenge. Architect Jim Garrison and his firm were called in to tackle the task, and were able to implement their pod-like designs just in time.
Many of the 37 new lifeguard stations, public bathrooms and offices have already been rolled out at 15 different sites in NYC. Since there would be no point in rebuilding if the new structures were unable to withstand future storms, Garrison made sure that the buildings were elevated above the newly updated FEMA storm surge levels and also designed them to be net-zero energy. The structures are equipped with solar hot water heating, skylight ventilators and photovoltaic panels for electricity.
The durable steel buildings are 15 feet wide x 12 feet high and either 57 or 47 feet long. In order to meet the rigid May 27th deadline, the structures were first constructed at a factory in a very systemized manner, and were then delivered to their respective final destinations when completed. This off-site fabrication also eliminated any potential weather delays.
In terms of design, we think you’ll agree that the beach buildings look pretty nifty in addition to being extremely hardy and net-zero. Unlike some of the grody beach bathroom interiors that New Yorkers are accustomed to, Garrison‘s design calls for ample skylights that cut down on the need for artificial lighting and glass tile ceilings, which lend a luxurious feel. The comfort stations also feature natural ventilation, which, as you might imagine, is very important for bathrooms on hot summer days.