(Text from the website of Michielli Wyetzner Architects): The Greenpoint Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a new, two-story, 12,400-square-foot facility that is part of an NYC program to improve response times to medical emergencies throughout the city. Located on a prominent site in the growing Brooklyn, NY neighborhood of Williamsburg, it supports the Fire Department of New York ambulance vehicles and crews who have come to consider the station a second home.

The station’s requirements for vehicles and staff led to a four-part organization of the interior. The east side which houses the four ambulances, and a command vehicle requires higher ceilings than the rest of the station and this increase in height helps organize the building’s functions. On the lower west side are the lieutenant’s office, captain’s office, and other administrative spaces. On the second floor above the vehicle bays are locker rooms and bathrooms for the 54 women and 97 men who maintain the station’s three shifts. Across the atrium, to the west, is a fitness facility, training room, and 700-square-foot combined kitchen and lounge area. The first floor’s different ceiling heights repeat at the roofline. The architects mark it with a skylight that extends from the front to the back of the building bringing daylight to the second floor and through an opening in the floor to the ground level. The double-height glass-enclosed entry also marks the division between functions and is filled with natural light.

On the exterior, FDNY-red, roll-up doors on the vehicle side introduce bright color for what is otherwise a cool, glass facade. Providing a diagonal sculptural break is the transparent exit stair, covered with glass-enclosed perforated aluminum panels, that runs parallel along the street facade, connecting the entrance with the second floor. The 90-foot-long, second-story translucent glass wall with a honeycomb pattern set into the glass, appears to float above the ground floor and helps to form the building’s strong identity. Aglow in the evening, the Greenpoint EMS Station has become a distinct presence in the Williamsburg community. (End of text from Michielli Wyetzner Architects).

This project had very specific requirements for restricting the possibility of views inward. Although ClearShade allows building occupants to see outward far more readily than outside observers can see into buildings – a feature used at Hollenbeck Police Station for security purposes – in this case, with EMS workers sometimes needing to change clothes quickly, the project called for total privacy in the upper-level spaces. Michielli Wyetzner designed a gradient frit pattern that was applied to the inboard lite of the units enclosing those spaces where EMS workers might require additional privacy.

To maximize daylight and views in the circulation spaces, the units enclosing the atrium and the skylights do not have frit.

The photo above shows the ample daylight and the expansive views through the no-frit units used at the atrium and skylight. To the left, the fritted gradient intentionally blocks views.

Project: Greenpoint EMS, Greenpoint, NY

Architects: Michielli Wyetzner Architects
Photography: Alexander Severin where noted, all other photos Panelite
Completed: 2013

Learn more:

View more project images at Michielli Wyetzner Architects, Architizer, and ArchDaily

Browse other ClearShade projects in our gallery.

Why is ClearShade better than electrochromic glass? Better than fritted glass?

Learn more about how ClearShade optimizes daylight while blocking solar heat, or request an AIA-accredited CEU presentation (1 HSW LU) on Advanced Glazing Solutions for Optimum Daylighting, Energy Performance, and User Safety + Wellness.