Materials Science Research and Testing Facility
Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York City
57,000 sq ft of testing and 41,000 sq ft MEC support
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is prominently located on the East River and holds the unique title of MC3 manufacturing zoning. As one of the last of such zones in the City, the occupants take great liberties with the title, varying from recycled glass manufacturers, to fish packing, to intellectually sensitive large-scale advertising production and more. The location and nature of the activity within result in the entire area being physically inaccessible to the public at large. Much of the activity remains a mystery. The same can be said for materials science research in general, where there are incredibly large machines used to analyze infinitesimally small objects at the molecular and quantum levels. The benefits of materials science research are so widespread, from phones to unlocking our genetic code that the research which brings everyday objects to the masses is often an afterthought to the general populace.
This project aims to create a bridge, both physical and literal, between the public and the private aspect of the Navy Yard and to the understanding of materials science. A pedestrian bridge constructed using the latest smart materials and visually inspired by the unique molecular structure of carbon provides a link in the ongoing NYC Green-way project as well as an invitation to observe the exciting research taking place within the labs.
The building itself is inspired by humanity; the structure of DNA, stretched and pulled to the limits, turning its faces down toward the end of the East River, a metaphorical salute to the world at large where its output will be felt globally. The moment where technology and biology converge in a twisted seemingly impossible connection floating on the existing pier. This is the place where the impossible becomes reality.
This is where robotics, genetics, and materials meet and a new future begins. The building is situated such that it is visible from Roosevelt to Ellis and Staten Islands. The bridge becomes part of the layered canvass looking down through the Queensboro, Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges. The contorted strangeness of the structures provokes curiosity from the public, inviting them to learn more about science, connectivity, and ultimately themselves as human beings within the physical universe, in the place where these discoveries are being made. It is a macro vision of our micro future.