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nARCHITECTS’ interventions at the Department of Transportation (DOT) Harper Street Yard include work on two adjacent sites separated by the Whitestone Expressway in Queens, commissioned as part of the New York City Department of Design and Construction Design Excellence Program. Site 1’s scope included improving vehicular flow, the renovation of an existing maintenance and repair shop, and the design of a new diesel pump station with monitoring booth. For the second site, 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 building’s profile takes inspiration from the graphic electrical symbol denoting a step up in power.

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

Client: New York City Department of Transportation / New York City Department of Design and Construction
Location: Queens, NY
Status: Completed
Dates: 2014 – 2015
Sq Footage: Site 1: 235,855sf (site area), 64,288sf (buildings); Site 2: 860sf
Program: Site 1: Improved vehicular flow, maintenance and repair shops renovation, and diesel pump station and monitoring booth; Site 2: Asphalt plant electrical transformer building
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