Bronx, NY / 2010

Public Safety Answering Center

A high-security landscape for high-stress conditions

This emergency call center is strategically located in the Bronx, above the floodplain and beyond the dense grid of downtown Manhattan. The Public Safety Answering Center II (PSAC II) is meant to facilitate emergency response for the City of New York on behalf of the NYPD and FDNY. A grassland berm completely envelops PSAC II’s visually impenetrable architecture to both secure the highly sensitive site and also relieve the appearance of the bold façade. The entirely secure site perimeter is defined by a wall that rises three feet above the adjacent Bronx Parkway grade, and is topped with a custom scrim-like fence that allows the site within to be seen yet not accessed. The building, which has been designed to be self-sufficient for up to three days during an emergency, houses workers who receive up to eleven million emergency 911 calls every year. To offer mental relief during the work day, a secured plaza over structure offers a visual amenity with places to sit and be outdoors. Simple forms, crisp lines, and green technologies such as high-albedo paving and native low-maintenance plant palettes characterize the PSAC II landscape. This project was created as part of a collaborative team at Thomas Balsley Associates, with Laura Stedenfeld as Deputy Project Manager; all images are courtesy Thomas Balsley Associates.


Size: 9 acres
Cost: $500,000,000