Office of Emergency Management

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Type: Emergency Management Center
Fall 2016

The Office of Emergency Management in New York is a complex program needing to serve as the primary center for disaster relief and coordination to the five boroughs of New York. This speculation on the NYC OEM is an attempt at making a more conscious architecture using public program as a catalyst for change.

During a natural disaster, one is often in familiar places with unfamiliar conditions. The contrast between setting and condition contribute to one’s awareness in that given situation creating a defamiliarization. Thus a defamiliarization was implemented by taking the immediate context of surrounding high rises and scaling their facades to create a new density.

There was then a second scalar shift and inversion of the larger context of the city. By creating a city within a city there is again a likeness to a form one knows but a strangeness from the relation of scale one has to it. Familiar Places with unfamiliar conditions. Further, there is a large interior reflective surface which acts two-fold. First is to amplify the intensity of the interior city, and secondly to separate the experience of being inside the interior city to that of viewing Manhattan in isolation.