This is a salt shed. This is what all salt sheds should look like. The crystalline structure is more akin to a museum than anything remotely institutional. In fact, there isn’t much about the 21-metre-high concrete building that implies its role as a municipal warehouse for salt, some 5,000 tons of it.
Located along the Hudson River in Manhattan, the Spring Street Salt Shed is the vision of New York’s Dattner Architects in collaboration with WXY. Others have taken note of its unexpected beauty, too – the building has won awards from various local bodies including the Art Commission Design Award by the City of New York. People respond to it immediately. Its dimpled and faceted exterior gently tapers down, so it doesn’t meet the sidewalk as a hulking wall, but rather, creates a wider, welcoming walkway for pedestrians.
The beauty isn’t just aesthetic, though: the walls themselves are nearly two metres thick and lined with steel on the interior to prevent damage to the structure from the comings and goings of heavy-duty salt trucks. Imagine how cityscapes would improve if all municipal buildings were met with such elegant consideration?