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Sustainable Design for Brooklyn Waterfront Park Building

We are excited to bring sustainable design to the Brooklyn’s Bush Terminal renaissance. With views of active shipping lanes and Lady Liberty, a public park with expansive lawns, reclaimed marshlands and tidal pools, ball fields, and recreational and educational facilities is emerging.

Long-term plans for the park include a restaurant and environmental learning center, but the first structure, designed by TCA, is a 1,200 sf park offices and comfort station.

Our challenge: create an environmentally-sensitive, educational and easy-to-maintain structure that blends with the industrial and natural surroundings.

The solution: surplus shipping containers carefully adapted. A symbol of the Brooklyn’s shipping terminal’s past, we incorporated a ‘live’ roof and carefully placed windows to bring in natural light.



Parks & Recreation     /     Brooklyn, New York, NY     /     1,200 Square Feet     /     Under Construction

Reuse of Surplus Containers for Sustainable Design

The containers are bound side-to-side. They are adapted internally to house all program elements.To enable the construction to address the generous scale of the park, a butterfly-shaped roof adds height and unifies the overall assembly into a single dynamic gesture, also bringing natural light through a triangular clerestory; exposed corrugated skins and intact container doors and details emphasize the original dimensions and materials of the modules themselves.

TCA met or exceeded the prescriptions of PlaNYC, the city’s sustainability program. The sweeping roof will be fully planted with “LiveRoof”, a low-maintenance sedum system, to cool and insulate the interiors and minimize storm water runoff. Three elegant vertical-axis wind turbines mounted to the containers will help to supply electrical needs. Both will be dramatic demonstrations of sustainable efforts in a park dedicated to eco-education.

TCA also carefully selected materials for sustainability, ease of maintenance, and appeal. “Accoya wood”, an engineered wood product made from a range of sustainable species, is specified for decks, benches, and for the deep eaves, providing sheltered outdoor space and a platform for views into the park. The wood is non-toxic, 100% recyclable and naturally renewable; source-certified sustainable; and offers the highest available durability and resistance to fire and pests. Brightly colored glazed ceramic tiles line the bathroom interiors.

Learn more about sustainability in parks and gardens from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.


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