George R. Vierno Center

Rikers Island, New York

This goal of this project was to help reduce recidivism by replacing substandard facilities with humane correctional centers. Urbahn employed best practices to design a 2-pod housing addition and renovations to the GRVC. The addition expanded the facilities capacity by 832 beds, while the renovation focused on inmate programs, visiting, inmate intake and discharge, security, and a 6,500 meal/day kitchen.

The building massing was constrained by a range of factors: adjacent structures, the secure perimeter, and its proximity to LaGuardia Airport. To meet FAA height restrictions, Urbahn’s team conducted extensive modeling to define the allowable building envelope. The design strategy was to break down the mass of the large building blocks through subtle pushing and pulling of planes. Cementitious and metal panels, as well as fenestration panels, were used to define zones.

Client: NYC Department of Design and Construction / NYC Department of Correction
Renderings: Urbahn Architects PLLC