The Cove Laundromat is a designed to revive community relations in Alphabet City in Manhattan. The laundromat is a space where most members of a community congregate to drop off laundry and dry cleaning, or clean their clothes themselves. It is the only space outside of our apartments where we reveal our most intimate property. To a large extent, laundromats do not encapsulate this cleanliness and care needed for the items we use to clothes ourselves. The Cove is a place to connect with people, and as such, eliminates dryers and gives neighbors a chance to hang dry their clothes. Not only does hang clothes to dry increase shelf-life of clothes and reduces the carbon footprint of the laundromat, but ties neighbors together as the streets of New York used to appear. Clothes line were strung from window to neighbors window, at times from across the street.
Central to this investment in the community surrounding The Cove is creating answers to energy use. To make a community that lasts, that sustains, it has to be a sustainable neighborhood. The Cove Laundromat has a relationship with the next door Russian Orthodox Church to use and clean exhaust heat from its HVAC system. This air is used to dry the clothes hanging above, and is exhausted back into the system. The HRV and exhaust system allow clothes to dry in virtually the same amount of time as would happen in a dryer. A vertical garden is deployed to absorb excess moisture keeping. The amount of exhaust coming through the HRV is enough to heat water for the entire building above the laundromat, as well as provide the hot water for the laundromat single bathroom and ten washers.