The Manhattan Facility Project consists of Design-Build services for a fully functional, operational, and easily maintainable Facility to meet all programmatic requirements.

The Manhattan Facility (Facility) will be located at the site of the current Manhattan Detention Complex (MDC) at 124-125 White Street and will include space for on-site services and programming, recreation, food services, staff offices and facilities, amenities, and a secured entry (sally port.

The Facility will contain 886 beds and provide 125 accessory parking spaces below grade for Department of Correction (DOC) staff and other service providers. In addition, the Facility will provide 20,000 SF of community and commercial space on the ground floor.


Manhattan Facility Design Principles & Guidelines

The City’s overarching goals for all component projects undertaken as part of the Borough-Based Jails Program (BBJ Program), including new detention facilities and Early Works, such as dismantle and swing space projects, are described below.

  1. Design and construct new detention facilities grounded in dignity and respect that offer dedicated spaces to promote better connections to families, attorneys, courts, medical and mental health care, education, therapeutic programming, and service providers. These detention facilities must enable effective and tailored programming, provide appropriate housing for those with medical and mental health needs, and facilitate enhanced opportunities for stable reentry into the community.
  2. Design and construct new component projects of the BBJ Program that provide a safe, humane, secure, and efficient environment for all those who work, visit, or are in custody within the projects.
  3. Design and construct new detention facilities and other component projects that are beacons of exemplary public architecture that thoughtfully respond to urban context, contribute positively to the character of the surrounding neighborhood and streetscape, and serve as civic assets for all New Yorkers.
  4. Design and construct new Facilities that strive to relate to the city it is in and create a sense of place for the citizens it serves. As good civic architecture, the Facilities must be welcoming and inclusive, serving all regardless of ability, race, creed, or gender. The Facilities must embody a generative spirit that does not stagnate on a fixed identity and is uplifting rather than authoritative, empowering the people and community it serves.
  5. Provide exceptional design based on thoughtful and engaging communication with City agencies and community partners.
  6. Minimize construction- and operations-related impacts to neighboring properties and facilities and the community at large; Achieve dust and noise mitigation standards that exceed minimum regulatory thresholds.
  7. Provide safety in and around the Project site.
  8. Optimize overall operations and maintenance efficiency.
  9. Complete the Project within budget and on schedule.
  10. Proactively seek innovative solutions to accelerate the Project schedule while controlling cost and maintaining quality and safety.
  11. Provide robust minority- and women-owned business enterprise participation.
  12. Exemplify the City’s principles of Project Excellence, including excellence in design, construction, and project delivery.

The City aims to create a dignified, safe, and healthy environment for all individuals within these Facilities – including people in custody, staff, visitors, and service providers – conducive to justice in every sense of the word. This approach is grounded in an understanding of the context and continuity of people’s lives, on the importance of supportive services such as health care and education, and on the need to reintegrate individuals released from custody into their communities upon release.

  1. Convey dignity and respect for people in custody, staff, visitors, and service providers by creating high-quality environments that are well-suited to their intended use, with a scale, character, and materiality that reflect everyday home, work, and educational settings. Materials, fixtures, furnishings, and lighting should be warm and inviting and should not appear institutional.
  2. Promote safety and security for those who are in custody and work within the facility through clear sight lines, simple and intuitive wayfinding, well-lit spaces, and effective use of technology that supports the human experience. Security technology should be seamlessly integrated to facilitate operations while allowing the physical space to appear open and welcoming.
  3. Grant a sense of personal agency by allowing those who are in custody and work within the facility to move safely and easily between different settings, including housing, gathering, and program spaces. Where possible, design solutions should allow individuals the ability to personalize their space, and control attributes such as light and temperature. Enable privacy for personal spaces and offer opportunities for solitude and reflection.
  4. Foster wellbeing by creating healthy and active environments that reduce stress and promote comfort. Maximize access to daylight and fresh air by providing views of nature and vegetation wherever possible. Promote daily physical activity by providing spaces for active recreation as well as opportunities for independent movement throughout the building. Create positive environmental conditions including healthy air quality, comfortable temperatures, noise-mitigating acoustics, appropriate and variable lighting, and high-quality, sustainable materials.
  5. Create inclusive spaces that ensure accessibility for all by exceeding baseline accessibility requirements to provide dignified and equitable usability. Design spaces to support the needs of people with differing social, cognitive, mental, and physical abilities, as well as diverse racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, religious, and cultural identities.

These Facilities should be designed to support the communities within and in the surrounding communities – including people in custody, staff, service providers, and visitors, – to enhance the network of support available to individuals in custody and help reintegrate them into their neighborhoods upon release.

  1. Welcome visitors by creating a comfortable and engaging visitor experience from the first moment of arrival. Entrances and lobbies for visitors should be visible, open, and welcoming, and should facilitate a smooth and efficient transition into and out of the building. Visitor spaces should be comfortable, respectful, and calm and should support people with diverse needs, including families with small children and the elderly.
  2. Support staff and service providers by creating comfortable and calming spaces dedicated to meeting the personal and professional needs of those who work in the building. Provide high-quality, staff support areas to meet, dine, relax, engage in physical activity, and pursue on-site professional development.
  3. Reflect community living by designing housing units to foster positive social interactions among people in custody and staff. Provide engaging, appropriate, and flexible spaces that can support a range of group and private activities including programming, services, and daily activities such as dining and recreation. These spaces should be designed with finishes that are easy to maintain and that connote a residential, non-institutional experience.
  4. Ease access to resources by providing engaging spaces that support a broad range of programming for people in custody, including cooking, recreation, education, workshops, and skills and job training. Program spaces should enable people to work together, promoting a sense of common purpose and shared responsibility. Spaces for health care, legal services, counseling, housing assistance, community- and faith-based organizations, and others should be clearly visible, accessible, and welcoming to those in custody and to service providers arriving from outside the facility.
  5. Connect to the neighborhood by incorporating services and amenities that support the surrounding community. The design should enable an exchange between the Facility and the outside community, where appropriate, dependent on the specific needs of the borough.

These Facilities should serve as resources and assets for all New Yorkers, exemplifying outstanding public architecture that contributes to a sense of place while celebrating and contributing to the unique character, history, and culture of surrounding communities. No longer isolated and out of sight, these new jails must be understood as significant civic institutions, as much a part of the city’s life as libraries, fire houses, and schools.

  1. Express civic character in the public realm through design, with massing, fenestration, and materiality that enhances the neighborhood and is inviting to the public. Public entrances and adjoining community facilities should be prominent, welcoming, and accessible to all.
  2. Respond to neighborhood context through strategies that complement surrounding buildings and open space. Massing and façade articulation should be used to respond to the urban and human scale and relate to adjacent buildings. The design should consider the multiple perspectives and approaches from which the building will be experienced.
  3. Create connections by activating the site in response to pedestrian routes and neighborhood amenities, including nearby transit, parks, and other destinations. Locate and design entrances, community facilities, and public open space to be visible and accessible from locations with pedestrian activity.
  4. Enhance the pedestrian experience by designing the ground floor and open spaces to engage the public and contribute to the character of the streetscape and public realm. Ground floor façades should enliven the sidewalk experience by highlighting active community uses, providing visual connections between inside and outside, and by responding to the human scale. Vehicular entrances and streetscape security components should be discreet and well-integrated with the pedestrian experience. Open spaces should be accessible, inviting, and safe, and should support the community with amenities such as planting, shade, seating, lighting, and wayfinding.
  5. Integrate building systems and services including security, lighting, mechanical systems, utilities, waste disposal, and vehicular queuing into the design of the building. Security measures should be unobtrusive, allowing the Facility to integrate into the neighborhood context. Appropriate lighting should be used to enhance the nighttime environment while controlling the spread of light to neighboring windows. Building systems and associated access points should be discreet, secure, and screened from view. Vehicular entrances and exits should be designed to allow queuing within the facility, minimizing impacts on adjacent streets and sidewalks.

These Facilities should be designed to stand the test of time, performing optimally over and beyond the course of their 50-year life span as enduring community assets aligned with the goals of the City’s OneNYC 2050 Strategic Plan.

  1. Optimize performance by employing innovative and multilayered solutions to achieve high standards of environmental sustainability. Limit the use of natural resources by optimizing energy performance, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, limiting water use, and reducing construction waste. The design should meet and exceed established standards for green buildings and infrastructure.
  2. Enhance the urban environment by managing storm water, offsetting heat island effect, utilizing native vegetation, and considering impacts on local and regional ecosystems, including fauna such as migratory birds. The design should contribute to a comfortable surrounding environment by considering solar and wind exposure and other local microclimate effects.
  3. Design for longevity by enabling simple, cost-effective operations and maintenance and selecting high-quality materials with demonstrated durability. Materials and fixtures should be easy to clean and should stand up to high levels of traffic without appearing harsh or institutional. Building systems, features, and equipment should be easy to maintain, update, and replace when needed.
  4. Embrace resiliency by planning for emergent and long-term risks, including changing climate and public safety conditions. The building and site must perform effectively during extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances and maintain or quickly regain functionality in the face of operational stress or disturbance.
  5. Anticipate future change by enabling the building and site to adapt to changing conditions and future needs. Consider how program layout and stacking, structural and building systems, construction assemblies, and technology can support flexibility for operational and programmatic changes in the building typology and use.


Manhattan Facility
Quick Information


The Manhattan Detention Facility Project replaces the current Manhattan Detention Center with a more modern facility


The Manhattan Detention Facility will be located at 124-125 White Street


The Manhattan Detention Facility Project aims to be completed by 2027


Building the new facility is part of the borough-based jail system which aims to create a smaller, safer, and fairer system by incarcerating less people and building modern facilities


Manhattan Facility
Latest Updates

Manhattan Facility Construction Updates

Manhattan Facility Latest Documents

Manhattan Facility Design Principles & Guidelines

Q4 2021 Manhattan Detention Complex Artwork Conservation Plan

Manhattan Joint Task Force Meeting Materials