Miami-based Oppenheim Architecture+Design has won an international design competition for a hotel in Brooklyn at the Williamsburg Bridge. The proposed 86,000 square foot, 440-foot-tall tower is comprised of three 16-foot deep vertical slabs and joins a recently announced 40-story rental tower designed by FX Fowle nearby on the waterfront as the latest high-rise planned for the neighborhood. Oppenheim declined to name the competition sponsor, citing a confidential development team, but the site adjacent to the landmarked, 1870s-era Williamsburgh Savings Bank is currently under renovation by a group intending to build a hotel and event space on the corner of Broadway and Driggs Avenue.
Chad Oppenheim, principal at Oppenheim A+D, was intrigued by the style, soul, and grit of the rapidly transforming Williamsburg neighborhood. Dubbed the Williamsburghotel, the tower mixes height and materiality to form a relationship with the surrounding neighborhood: the lowest slab with the existing area, the middle form with domed bank, and the tallest tower with the bridge. Oppenheim compared the set-backs of the three forms to traditional skyscrapers in New York on “an extreme scale.” The hotel’s crystalline facade is formed by structural diagonal steel designed to resist lateral loading. In addition to green roofs topping the two lower slabs, Oppenheim hopes to achieve LEED Platinum certification with geothermal, wind, and solar power.
“We did not want the hotel’s form to be in constant battle with the adjacent historic bank. We tried to accomplish more with less, opting for a timeless solution that delivers grace, and drama through powerful manipulations of scale, proportion, and materiality,” Chad Oppenheim said in a statement. “The primal notion of tower and basilica is a typology more often associated with the Renaissance, which is extremely appropriate for an area in the midst of its own full-blown renaissance. I am incredibly excited to do our first project in New York, and especially in Brooklyn. This was where my family first established roots when my great grand parents arrived from Europe. I was born here, and it is a wonderful home coming that will help us establish more of a presence in the area.”