When Hurricane Sandy wiped out the lifeguard stations and public bathrooms on many of New York City’s beaches, the city found itself in a bind. How could it rebuild these necessary facilities in time for the summer of 2013? To answer that question, officials turned to architect Jim Garrison, who has been designing buildings for the city for over three decades, and luckily, his firm was ready to jump into the fray and design more than 50 beach structures for a scheduled opening on Memorial Day. The resulting facilities will be flood-resistant, sustainably-built, modular and prefab (not to mention nifty-looking).
Garrison’s beach offices, lifeguard stations and public bathrooms (called “comfort stations” in city parlance) are not only elevated above the newly updated FEMA storm surge levels, but they’re net-zero energy too – with solar hot water heating, skylight ventilators and photovoltaic panels for electricity. The landscaping around these structures will be eco-friendly too, since they’ll be set upon reinstated sand dunes that will help protect the shoreline.
The buildings will be built off-site in a factory, then set onto support structures that will be tailored for the individual sites in the Rockaways, Coney Island and Staten Island. And they’ll be a welcome addition to what is currently only a handful of modular buildings in the city, helping to establish modular construction as a viable way of addressing the city’s frequently changing needs. See more of Garrison Architects’ prefab and modular work at their website.
Renderings courtesy of Garrison Architects