A few special design features make the new Public Safety Answering Center in the Bronx remarkable. In addition to serving as a blast-resistant emergency shelter, the building also houses a "living wall" that cleanses and enriches the air, FastCo.Exist reports.

The green wall of plants is a collaboration between RPI’s Center for Architecture, Science, and Ecology (CASE), the architects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), and engineers at AECOM. The 911 call center isn’t the first building to feature a plant wall, but this one does have one major distinction: the lack of dirt. The Active Modular Phytoremediation, or AMP wall, relies on hydroponics instead of soil to flourish. This makes the installation a natural air purifier as well as an appealing piece of interior design.

Having a sustainable air filtration system built in was an important consideration when designing the call center; the idea is that the AMP wall will keep air inside the building fresh in case it’s ever shut off from the outside during a disaster. The boost in air quality employees enjoy on a daily basis is an added bonus.

[h/t FastCo.Exist]

All images: SOM // Instagram

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