MC1 is a publicly commissioned homeland-security facility for the Fire Department of New York City in partnership with the Hudson River Park Trust. The project will house Manhattan's last remaining fireboat company. Located on Pier 53 on the Hudson River, the project is an agglomeration of various programs, including an existing recycling depot and a future park.
The surge of the Hudson, reflected river light, shifting winds, and tidal patterns register the passage of time as well as its constancy. Rather than erase the site’s traces, the project aims to embrace the rawness and patina of the site without nostalgia. The scheme was conceived as an extrusion that registers its depth of structure. Existing piles remain as a palimpsest of past pier river structures. The building is embedded and rises out of this field.
The pier level includes a drive-through garage and staging area for fire trucks and Special Operation Command vehicles, as well as buoy storage. The footprint of the company house is minimized to preserve sightlines from the future park. As a result, the 9,000-square-foot facility is a vertical stack of program. The second level is a series of shearing zones, connecting yet distinguishing shared activities of the company corps, and the third level is an array of particularized spaces clustered around the inner core of the locker room.
The constant impact of the natural Hudson River frontage conditions, weather, and resultant weathering is considered an opportunity. Each of the faceted surfaces of the building is articulated according to the program areas it serves and the ephemeral qualities embraced. The site is located on Pier 53 at the end of Bloomfield Street, which borders the edge of the West Village. The scope of work includes the design and construction of a new pre-cast concrete pier structure, wave-attenuation screens and mooring elements.