Hammel Gymnasium

Firm Credit :  Ronnette Riley Architect


Hammel Gymnasium, located in the NYCHA Hammel Houses complex, was devastated after Hurricane Sandy. Tidal surge pushed in the exterior glass block walls and salt water intrusion destroyed interior surfaces and equipment. The gym is a key community amenity for this NYCHA housing project, and its reopening was long awaited by the residents.

Design Features

The floor and wall surfaces were replaced with durable water- resistant materials to survive future flooding. Wood floors were removed and replaced with resin based poured material. Wall protection pads and other equipment were replaced with water resistant, non-organic products. The glass block walls were reinstalled with manufacturer specified reinforcing and grouting to resist lateral forces from tidal surge. Rusted metal hardware, doors and other components were replaced with salt water resistant materials. Power was relocated above the Design Flood Elevation (as defined by the NYCDOB).

Sustainable Practices

The design incorporated flood resistant finishes, equipment and construction. All components were replaced with “resilient” materials per FEMA guidelines. The gymnasium was not occupied for over a year due to the damage after Sandy. The new resilient improvements will minimize those delays and better serve the residents into the future.

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