Bronx River Greenway River House / Kiss + Cathcart Architects

Courtesy of Kiss + Cathcart Architects

Back in 2007 Kiss + Cathcart Architects were awarded the City Design Commission Award for the River House that is to be situated on the River on the last stretch just before it empties into the East River and is to be operated by the River Alliance on behalf of the city. The River House is designed with sustainability as a top priority, developed to be a living element of the park.

More information on the Bronx River Boat House after the break.

Courtesy of Kiss + Cathcart Architects

The building uses an extensive system of clean energy technology and flaunts its receptiveness to the preservation of vegetation and native plant life with a green screen that consists of a metal mesh fence with extensive vine and plant coverage and provides a habitat for birds and insects. The landscape features surrounding the 7,000 sq foot structure allows for two main public spaces that are to become central facets to the construction. The administration and office area of the structure, which will accomodate the Bronx River Alliance, and the boat house that will store approximately 30 canoes and 9 kayaks, ranks as a high performance structure of renewable energy production.

Courtesy of Kiss + Cathcart Architects

The River House will produce 56,000 kWh of renewable energy from the roof monitor-mounted polycrystalline solar panels alone. The building also features a ground-sources heat pump and artificial lighting via flourescent bulbs that uses daylight sensors to monitor waste. Together they contribute to the zero net energy goal of the Bronx River Boat House. The structure will also produce a surplus of renewable energy production by reducing the need for temperature conditioning using the dedicated green screen which will drop temperatures by up to 15 degrees. The structure will also save 190,000 gallons of water per year through rainwater collection that will be gathering from the roof and used to flush toilets, wash canoes, and irrigate the green screen. The River House is located on an otherwise neglected stretch of the Bronx River and is part of an effort by the city of New York and the Bronx River Alliance to reactivate this part of the river with a ecologically gentle architecture.

Architects: Kiss + Cathcart, Architects
Location: Bronx, NY
Client: NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Team: AG Consulting Engineering, Robert Silman Associates, Starr Whitehouse, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Community Environmental Center, The Gala Institute, Stan Deutsch Associates
Awards: 2007 New York City Design Commission Award, LEED Platinum Expected
Cost: $9,000,000
Size: 7,000 sq ft

Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "Bronx River Greenway River House / Kiss + Cathcart Architects" 14 Dec 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Holcim Awards

    It will be important to utilize native plans on that screen otherwise it could be doing more harm to the local ecology than good. Furthermore what will that screen look like in the winder when the vines shed their leaves? It will be important to design it to be beautiful year round. Otherwise this is a great project and would be a perfect submission to the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction: