- Mechanical Engineers: M-E Engineers
- Project Team: Frank Michielli, Michael Wyetzner, Jason Pogorzala, Elena Hasbun, Kotting Luo
- City: New York
- Country: United States
Text description provided by the architects. This project for the NYC Department of Design and Construction and NYC Department of Transportation completely rehabilitates the five-story, 40-year-old Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Garage located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
The design includes replacing the deteriorating existing precast concrete panel façades facing Essex and Ludlow Streets with a lightweight, naturally ventilated, visually dynamic façade that contributes to the rich texture of the growing neighborhood.
The mid-block building has gated entrances on two streets. The ground floor office and restrooms have been renovated and 22 bicycles spaces were added. Repairs included a new protective coating on the roadway, waterproofing and structural repairs. The roof and elevators were replaced and the supporting infrastructure was upgraded.
The façade for the Delancey + Essex Garage is a three-dimensional surface of lines that is produced by offsetting two layers of 1 ¼” composite cables. When the two layers- one planar and the other folded- are viewed together, moiré patterns are created by the interference of the crossing lines. The patterns seemingly move across the face of the building as the viewer’s position changes.
The cables have a composite fiberglass core and woven stainless steel jacket. Each cable spans from the second floor to the roof level and is fastened to stainless steel end-fittings with integral turnbuckles for adjustability. At the intermediate levels, stainless steel “o-rings” attach the outer layer of cables to galvanized steel “combs,” anchored to the floor slab at each level. The comb’s horizontal steel rods extend to fix the outer, folded layer of cables at the correct distance from the structure. The inner layer is composed of straight lines that are attached only at endpoints.
The pattern of the cable design was inspired by the work of various abstract artists such as Naum Gabo and Fred Sandback, who have defined form and space simply with lines. The scheme attempts to capture the visually dynamic quality of Optical Art works from the 1960’s, including Françoise Morellet’s “Grillage” drawings, where simple geometries were juxtaposed to create new, larger scale patterns. The cables are woven as if on a loom, evoking the history of the early garment industry in the Lower East Side.