121st Police Precinct Station House

A prominent community asset cantilevers high above Richmond Avenue and slopes along a gentle curve into the low slung residential neighborhood to the west.

The second floor of the 121st Police Precinct Station House cantilevers 90 feet toward Richmond Avenue in a symbolic gesture of community engagement that defines the main entrance and creates a visual link between the main lobby and the street. Overcoming the challenges of its sloped site and adjacent residential neighborhood, this design solution is two distinct building volumes: a two-story linear bar, gently arcing in plan and gradually increasing in height as it approaches the commercial district of Richmond Avenue, and a one-story volume at the point where the site extends outward to the south.

The two building masses are distinguished by varied heights, differing surface treatments—horizontal, stainless-steel cladding on the long bar and gray brick on the one-story volume—and a skylight over the interstitial space between them, which brings natural light into the ground-floor lobby. The long bar structure also shields the residential neighborhood to the north from the police parking lot to the south. Outdoor mechanical services are concealed within the building form and integrated into an enclosure clad in the same stainless steel.

The building program includes officer and detective work areas, administrative offices, locker rooms, holding cells and prisoner processing, muster room, interview rooms, lounges, evidence and records storage, vehicle fueling station, screened parking, and evidence vehicle storage.

The building is designed to achieve an energy cost reduction of 25 percent. Sustainable design strategies include the use of recycled asphalt pavement in driving lanes, permeable surfacing in low-traffic parking spots, and five bio-retention cells that captures the rain that falls within the property in order to reduce the amount of water that enters the sewer system.

As the community face of the NYPD in Staten Island, the 121st Police Precinct Station House is a model for sustainable design. With a LEED Silver certification, the station house is the first police facility in the city so designated under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 sustainable design initiative.

Recognizing the need for a greater law enforcement presence and the opportunity for great civic architecture, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) commissioned Rafael Viñoly Architects to design a station house for Staten Island’s first new precinct in decades, the 121st Precinct.