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Carriage Houses 1, 2, & 3 from Arthur Kill Road. ©Naho Kubota
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Aerial overview of Carriage Houses 1, 2, & 3. ©Naho Kubota
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House 2 north entry porch.
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Houses 1,2, & 3 from Arthur Kill Road.
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House 3 porch looking toward Houses 1 & 2. ©Naho Kubota
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House 3 interior with tufted insulation nearing completion.
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Interior with historic artifacts. ©Naho Kubota
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Large fans and a cross ventilation system cool the buildings without air conditioning.
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Tufted insulation slows temperature & humidity changes within the spaces to protect SIHS's collection of historic carriages without the use of extensive mechanical controls.
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House 3 steel arch detail.
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Highly reflective, brightly-colored end walls differentiate the houses from each other. Each is coded with one, two, or three flush circular panels to indicate the house number. Porches at each end of the houses are set at varying depths to create covered spaces for sponsoring outdoor events.
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House 2 entry porch from access hub. ©Naho Kubota
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Back porch of House 2.
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Aerial view of physical model.
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The three buildings are arrayed around a central welcome area that provides access for incoming/outgoing carriages and hub for SIHS events. The free building arrangement frames grassy exterior areas between the houses and engage the existing dense surrounding woods.



The houses are positioned to minimize disruptions to the existing grade, to preserve the existing trees on the site, and to maximize water absorption/minimize runoff.
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Houses 1, 2, & 3 from Arthur Kill Road. ©Naho Kubota

CARRIAGE HOUSES & GROUNDS

Staten Island Historical Society, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC/DDC, Staten Island, NY

As part of NYC’s Design Excellence program, R+L has designed this ground up project for three new buildings that provide viewing and storage facilities for the SIHS’s 62 historic carriages. The program includes exhibition gallery for the top carriages, restoration space, and multi-purpose space for education programs and events. Departing from the given program for a single 3,000sf metal Butler building that could only house a part of the collection, R+L was able to triple the area using three steel arched-span structures. The deeply corrugated galvanized panels were sized to maximize storage capacity and economically perform as both structure and skin to provide 10,000sf needed to house the entire SIHS collection.

The multiple houses are situated to frame a series of exterior spaces for the organization’s frequent outdoor events. Super-saturated end walls create event backdrops with covered porches designed as hosting platforms for outdoor activities. Taken as a whole, the project forms a collections campus, opening up programming and shaping a new identity for the SIHS.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented the Carriage Houses project with NYC Public Design Commission Award for Excellence in 2011.