Inside SITU Studio’s Brooklyn Navy Yard Fabrication Center

July 26, 2016
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A Brooklyn SolarWorks x SITU Studio Solar Canopy in Park Slope. Credit: @situstudio instagram

On Friday, we joined SITU Studio for drinks at their Brooklyn Navy Yard fabrication hangar. Founded in 2005 by four Cooper Union grads, SITU’s grown to more than 35 employees and three divisions: SITU Studio, the company’s architectural design firm based in DUMBO; SITU Fabrication with 10,000 sqf in the Navy Yard; and SITU Research, an interdisciplinary practice working in design, visualization and spatial analysis. SITU specializes in projects that that help make the city more inclusive, engaging and productive. 

For instance, SITU recently collaborated with Gowanus-based Brooklyn SolarWorks Design to create The Canopy rooftop solar panels. City roofs are tricky for panels because HVACs, skylights create obstructions and fire code requires space for emergency personnel. Even flat roofs create a problem since they don’t face south and capture max sunlight. SITU and SolarWorks’ design elevates solar panels over obstructions and tilts them south south. The Canopy also provides shade and space to hang out underneath for residents. The Canopy is piloting with 11 installations across Brooklyn and Astoria, and there’s another 25 in the pipeline for the next six months.

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Exploring property tax distribution for the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Sharing Models: Manhattanisms exhibition. Credit: @situstudio on Instagram

SITU’s focus on flexible assembly, collaborations and community integration is a natural fit for New York’s constant, increasingly social, evolution. MoMA invited SITU to participate in the Uneven Growth exhibition on tactical urbanism, and founding partners frequently speak on panels at MIT, NYU Law School and Maker Faire. Through the Navy Yard space, SITU’s thinking can immediately inform building. The lab houses a five-axis CNC router, one of the East Coast’s largest Thermoformers, laser cutters, welding equipment and an arsenal of traditional tools. Combining strategy and inhouse fabrication “creates a nonlinear thinking that produces discoveries and client engagement very early on,” SITU’s Amy Parker says.

For the New York Hall of Science’s main exhibition space, SITU created an immersive STEM and experiential Design Lab. The Brooklyn Museum commissioned the firm to create movable ticketing counters and furniture complete with power outlets and USB ports. For Princeton, SITU developed GIRIthe Grinding, Imaging and Reconstruction Instrument – to generate 3D digital models of objects embedded in materials such as rock and metal. The CNC-based machine allows researchers to analyzes samples at a greater volume and frequency than ever before. To learn more about SITU’s work, head to their site or reach out to Amy Parker [email protected]

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SITU Fabrication’s work for Adidas Y-3. Credit: SITU Fabrication