Training police recruits has recently emerged as an area of considerable focus in major U.S. cities, with fast-evolving considerations of public safety, community outreach, and technology adoption.
For one of New York City’s largest building projects ever, the New York City Department of Design & Construction engaged the Perkins+Will design team for a new, 730,000 square foot Police Academy for the New York City Police Department police and existing force, with many using the new Academy for training and continual education.
The design approach merges the recapture of an underutilized, environmentally-challenged brownfield site with an inspiring civic program into a highly sustainable and resilient new facility. It is the largest public building in New York to achieve LEED Gold certification. The project improves the site and at the same time, enhances neighborhood conditions. In response to issues of site flooding and its mission critical nature, all infrastructure is located above the 100-year flood plain. The facility was also designed using Active Design principles, which help buildings boost occupant health and well-being, and was the first building ever to apply for the LEED Active Design Innovation Credit.
Conceived as a “horizontal skyscraper,” the building’s spaces are laid out for convenient access and efficient movement of the training cohorts of recruits as they move through enclosed walkways and stairs. A wide pedestrian link extends the length of the campus, and serves double duty as the conduit for the building infrastructure that is hidden overhead, well above the flood plain.
The link connects to an eight-story glass atrium and stair, bringing together all office and training floors and creating an uplifting sense of community. An LED light sculpture by artist Erwin Redl animates the space from inside and out, reinforcing a sense of transparency and openness to the community, without sacrificing security.