Public Safety Answering Center II (PSAC II), a new facility located in the Bronx, enhances New York City's 911 emergency response system and sets a high standard for sustainability. The 450,000-square-foot building brings together emergency response workers from multiple city agencies-the Police Department, the Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services-serving as a model for interagency cooperation. As a back-up facility to the city's primary call center, PSAC II introduces an important layer of redundancy to New York City's 911 system. Continuously operating and highly secure, the building enhances the city's ability to maintain communication in the event of a natural disaster or large-scale emergency.
With its design, SOM confronted the challenge of creating a secure and functional building that also makes a positive contribution to its urban context. Designed as a perfect cube, the structure has few windows due to security concerns. To mitigate the building's potentially monolithic appearance, SOM developed a dynamic, serrated facade of recycled aluminum. The building is surrounded by a wrap-around sculptural berm of wild grasses, which serves as a barrier to protect the faciIity and enriches the aesthetics of the site. The landscape requires no irrigation, which helps to achieve the proiect's ambitious LEED''' Gold certification.
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