New York architects test two new bollard devices

Published 3 January 2007

Rogers Marvel tries to drum up NYSE interest in a turntable model for Broad Street; system rotates 90 degrees to permit passage of authorized vehicles; alternative Tiger Trap system already a big hit in Battery Park; unique construction supports pedestrian weight but collapses underneath trucks

If the Sex Pistols had called their song “Never Mind the Bollards!” it probably would not have been a major hit, but the song might have picked up royalties down the road as a homeland security jingle. The tune would be perfect for a unique turntable barrier currently under consideration for installation in New York City’s Broad Street, just outside the New York Stock Exchange. Designed by Rogers Marvel Architects and and its offshoot firm, Rock 12 Security Architecture, the twenty-foot in diameter turntable sports a large row of posts suitable for stopping large trucks. The bollards are separated with enough space for pedestrians to pass easily. When an authorized vehicle approaches, the turntable rotates ninety degrees before closing up again immediately. It should be noted that having bollards is seen by many executives as a sign of prestige, and so it is no surprise that, when the owner of 55 Broad Street was asked why he liked the new installation, his answer was simple: “No. 1, it’s cool.”

Rogers Marvel is also hard at work on another barrier called the Tiger Trap, manufactured in conjunction with Aston, Pennsylvania-based Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation. Said to “function like a moat but look like landscaping,” and built for the Battery Park City Authority at Vesey Street and North End Avenue, the Tiger Trap sports a threshold of compressible concreted extended in front of a low wall. The concrete bed is covered with plants or pavement and is strong enough to bear the weight of people on foot. But if a truck makes the same attempt, the concrete threshold collapses. The result is that the truck falls several feet into the barrier wall. According to Rogers Marvel, the Tiger Trap can stop a 15,000-poundtruck travelling at 50 miles per hour.

“Our hope is that we can convince the corporate community to get away from ringing their buildings with bollards,” said James Cavanaugh of the Battery Park City Authority.“We want to provide the feeling of a city, rather than an armed camp.”

-read more in David Dunlap’s New York Times report