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Essex Street Green Hub

Commissioned by the Lower East Side Improvement District (BID), Green Hub is a design project that takes an old, under-used parking structure and turns it into a lively neighborhood space by introducing bicycle parking, a small cafe, community workspace, rooftop garden plots, and other relevant spaces for the community. The comprehensive design concept, which Pilot Projects completed in 2012 and expanded upon in 2014, emphasizes community engagement, alternative forms of transit, and working sustainably within existing structures. It is designed to transform bleak, aging structures into vibrant neighborhood assets.

At the sidewalk level of the Lower East Side Green Hub, new "concierge" bike parking is linked with a cafe that supports a range of alternative transit options and community building. A full range of bike services, including mechanics and a help desk, will be staffed by existing neighborhood organizations. On the roof, a combination of a community garden plots and creative class workspace for several neighborhood organizations makes a space for collaboration, learning, and employment.

These renderings show the transformation of the NYC Department-of-Transportation-owned parking facility at the intersection of Essex and Delancey streets. They include a 1000 sf storefront bicycle workshop and maintenance space, a coffee kiosk, parking for 120 bicycles, drinking fountain and benches, a 12,000 sf solar array, 1,600 sf community roof garden with compost depot, CitiBike repair center, and 10,000 sf of workspace for community organizations.

This project is located at the highly visible and heavily trafficked intersection of Essex and Delancey streets, where subway riders enter and exit the Delancey Street station of the F train, and where bicycle traffic from the Williamsburg Bridge bike lanes enter Manhattan via Delancey Street, a major thoroughfare.

Green Hub is positioned to take advantage of both the bicycle traffic and the subway users, as well as pedestrians frequenting the area's numerous stores. It uses a total of 25 car parking spaces, 15 of which are almost never used on the roof. In the earlier renditions an "anamorphic" mural was proposed to liven up the existing concrete facade (painting only the sides of the pre-cast concrete fins). Later renderings incorporate the new architectural facade commissioned by DOT and now under construction.

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