If you're ever around Greenwich Village when nature calls, take advantage of the opportunity to check out Washington Square Park House, a sustainable building where you can pee in style. Designed by BKSK Architects, the LEED Platinum-certified building houses public restrooms as well as the park's administrative offices. Thanks to its notable green features, the structure was recently awarded a Merit Award by the AIA New York Committee on the Environment (COTE).
The 3,100-square-foot building is characterized by a curved design that sits quietly in the corner of the park, flanked by a grand colonnade made out of New York Champlain Valley granite. The structure houses the park’s public restrooms, offices, storage, and mechanical spaces. The quiet and sophisticated design’s mullioned windows and a wooden trellised roof do a great job of blending the building nicely into its green surroundings.
In addition to the building’s many practical uses, the award-winning design includes various sustainable features, which were implemented to minimize its environmental impact as much as possible. For its energy needs, the building is equipped with a solar panel array, which offsets 34% of the building’s electrical load. Additionally, ground source heat pumps heat and cool the building efficiently and eliminate noise pollution caused by traditional bulky machinery. The combination of solar energy and the ground source heat pumps has resulted in the building using 55% less energy than a conventional system of comparable size.
Along with the energy-efficient features, the building uses various passive design strategies to create a high performance envelope such as its curved form, which optimizes natural light on the interior. The building materials include locally-sourced stone and reclaimed wood, as well as various low- or no-VOC materials.
Along with achieving LEED Platinum certification, the building’s design has already earned many awards such as the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) 2016 National Design Award of Excellence and the 2015 AIA New York State Citation for Design.
Images via BKSK Architects