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As part of the DDC’s (Department of Design’ and Construction) Design Excellence Program, nARCHITECTS’ interventions to the DOT Harper Street Yard included work on two adjacent sites separated by the Whitestone Expressway in Queens, New York. Site 1’s scope included improving vehicular flow through the site, the renovation of the existing Maintenance & Repair Shop and the design of a new diesel pump station with monitoring booth. For site 2, we designed a new electrical transformer building.

We saw the project as an opportunity to introduce a sense of identity and a bit of humor into a primarily functional program brief for the DOT. Functionality was maximized by not only adhering to the program requirements but also creating a landmark within the industrial site to help guide traffic, employees and visitors.

The new building’s profile takes inspiration from the graphic electrical symbol denoting a step up in power.

The new diesel monitoring booth and its graphic tile cladding takes cues from traffic signage, literally directing the improved traffic flow through the site.

Client: NYC Department of Transportation / NYC Department of Design and Construction
Location: Queens, NY
Status: Completed
Dates: 2014-2015
Sq Footage: Site 1:  235,855 sf (site area), 64,288 sf (buildings)  / Site 2:  860 sf
Program: Site 1: Improved vehicular flow, maintenance & repair shops renovation + diesel pump station and monitoring booth / Site 2: Asphalt plant electrical transformer bldg.
Environmental: Green roof on electrical building

Design Team: : Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Thomas Heltzel, Marc Puig, Stephen Hagmann | Ammr Vandal, Lily Zhang, Julia Chapman, Daniel Morrison

Collaborators: MEP Engineer: PLUS Group | Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates | Environmental and Fuel engineer: URS Corporation | Civil Engineering: Langan Engineering

Photography: Frank Oudeman