NYC spent $1M on Bronx police station design, scrapped it for Bjarke Ingels’

“I think it’s a waste of money and time from every angle”: original architect
February 22, 2016 08:39AM

Before it settled on Bjarke Ingels’ cantilevered, metal-box-stack design for the 40th Precinct stationhouse in Mott Haven, the city dropped $1 million on another set of plans.

A more conservative set of plans produced by Karlsberger Architecture and Alexander Gorlin was approved by the city’s Public Arts Commission back in 2008, before the redevelopment at 275 Alexander Avenue was delayed by the effects of the global financial crisis, the New York Daily News reported.

Internal emails from 2014 show that NYPD officials favored the original design, and urged the Department of Design and Construction to focus on speedy development, and on staying on budget.

Design and Construction ultimately went ahead with a design competition, choosing Ingels’ ambitious 43,500-square-foot plan, which includes community space as part of an initiative to improve relations between police and the communities they serve.

The new design bumped the project’s cost to $51 million from the $29 million originally set aside.

One of the original architects spoke out against the new approach.

“With what’s going on between the police and the community, they put forth something that looks like a bunker?” Alexander Gorlin told the Daily News. “I think it’s a waste of money and time from every angle.” [NYDN]Ariel Stulberg