Inside Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's Imposing Bronx 911 Call Center

It serve as a call center for the fire, police and medical services departments.

Driving along the Pelham Parkway or Hutchinson River Parkway in Pelham Bay you might notice a silvery, somewhat monolithic structure along the road. That recently completed structure is New York City’s Public Safety Awareness Center II (PSAC II) otherwise known as the center where 911 calls are answered by emergency response workers from three different agencies: the police department, the fire department, and emergency medical services.

The 450,000-square-foot building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) as a perfect cube. To avoid that monolithic feel to a structure that is supposed to prioritize safety and privacy above all else, the architects on the project developed a serrated facade for this building with aluminum panels.

To liven up an otherwise stressful and unrelenting environment, the architects designed a sculptural berm of wild grass that envelops the base of the building. The berm also works as an additional layer of security for the building. Inside, the building features a plant wall that was developed by the design research laboratory of SOM, CASE along with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The green wall filters the air in the building and reduces its energy consumption as well.

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