New York City is replacing one of its 40 salt sheds on the Gansevoort Peninsula with a new, origami-like structure by Dattner Architects at Canal St/West St, along the Hudson River. Once completed, the shed will rise almost 70 feet tall and hold over 4,000 tons of salt in its six-foot thick concrete walls. In response to the complaints leveled against the Sanitation Garage across Spring Street from the new salt shed, Dattner Architects deliberately created a monolithic, crystalline form to contrast the scrim-like façade of its neighbour.
The new shed, inspired by the salt crystals it will house, required computer modelling to produce the plastic models from which contractors designed the formwork. By mixing slag into the concrete mix, the walls currently have a slight, glacial-blue tint, which will gradually disappear as the concrete whitens.
Various complications, such as the installation of the project above the Holland Tunnel, required great care, but after two years, the project is coming to fruition. Road salt from Chile will be arriving through a Staten Island terminal to be piled 40 feet high in the new structure, clearing roads for New York winters for many years to come.