Text description provided by the architects. AC Martin’s design for the Hollenbeck Replacement Police Station nicely complements the diverse and creative Boyle Heights community it serves, encourages public interaction, and creates a beneficial work environment for the officers. The welcoming, artistic, and safe new police station reinforces the Department’s efforts to create a more open, community-serving police force for the city.
The new facility is constructed on the site of the existing 1958 station, located near local government offices, community spaces, and a public park. The surrounding neighborhood has a rich and layered history that has imbued it with a distinct tradition of artistic expression. Local murals and brightly colored houses and gardens speak to the area’s creative spirit and ultimately played a major role in the design of the new facility. It was important to the community that the building maintain its central location and that the new design help transform the station into part of the neighborhood’s creative fabric. The project’s art program includes a large mural that reflects the history of the area and physically bridges the station to a public park area.
The station’s innovative undulating glass wall adds an artistic focal point to the community, while creating a welcoming public entrance. It allows light and diffused views into the lobby during the day, and becomes a glowing beacon at night. This beautiful and complex layering of glass is strategic as well as artistic: through the art/architecture connection, it responds to the police department’s emphasis on creating close ties to the community by engaging public interaction. The design and engineering of the glass panels were developed to provide the necessary visual and physical security while maintaining a sense of transparency, openness, and energy.
Significantly larger than the existing facility, the 54,000 square foot new main building includes a multipurpose room, offices, temporary holding cells, lobby, and support areas. The project also includes a 7,000 square foot vehicle maintenance facility, a fueling station, car wash, and an 115,000 square foot parking structure for approximately 330 vehicles. The modern design erodes the fortress-like nature of traditional police facilities, creates a desirable work environment for the officers, and encourages interaction with the surrounding community.
The replacement station’s internal organization provides a more efficient and enjoyable environment for more than 200 officers and staff working there. Because of the specific security needs, police stations can become complex in their organization. They often force users on circuitous pathways through dark hallways that create a disjointed sense of space. For Hollenbeck, AC Martin designed the station plan and organization to create clear pathways, maximize the daylight in the hallways, and provide a cohesive sense of space. The clarity of the circulation organizes the demanding program and intricate adjacency requirements.
The station is a model of sustainability, having achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Energy-efficient building mechanical and electrical systems, along with water-wise plumbing and irrigation, will reduce the building’s dependence on natural resources. As well, the majority of specified building materials include such components as recycled content from flooring made of old tires and stair treads made of beer bottles. Lastly, landscaping, covered parking, and a high-tech roofing system will help prevent the generation of heat into the neighboring community.