Text description provided by the architects. The Marine Company 9 Firehouse sits atop Homeport Pier in Lower New York Harbor. The firehouse and its new state-of-the-art boat, Firefighter II, watch over and protect New York City’s 578 miles of coastline and the shipping lanes of the Ports of New Jersey and New York, the busiest port on the east coast. Marine 9 responds to the needs of over 5,000 container ships each year.
The design takes its formal cues from these containers: strategically stacked rectangular volumes. The boat, Firefighter II, is necessarily part of the composition; without the boat there would be no house and so the materials, colors and mass of the boat are reflected in the house. Perched along the expanse of New York Harbor, the bright red and white augments the building’s modest presence, creating a visual icon seen for miles.
The stair hall and public entry expresses the firehouse as a civic institution, recalling the old firehouse truck bay and stair, where plaques and banners are traditionally displayed. In the new firehouse, the stair hall opens to the living areas of the building, with a view past the house-watch to the new boat beyond.
Programmatically, the building includes all the parts of a modern firehouse: living quarters, offices, a machine shop, commercial kitchen, cardiovascular workout room, dorm and offices – except no truck. Outside of the building, two new floating docks were designed, and support three quick-response boats. A protective wave fence, over 1,000 feet long, was also constructed to protect the vehicles along the Homeport Pier.
Marine 9 serves as a model for future sustainable practices in facility design and construction for the FDNY. Sustainable elements include a green roof, a solar hot water system, passive solar heating, daylighting, passive shading and natural ventilation. The building design incorporates efforts to minimally disturb the native marine life.