Since construction commenced on Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2009, the 1.3-mile stretch along the East River has been transformed from dilapidated shipping piers into verdant parkland and a place for recreational activities. Amid the bike paths and grassy knolls, a handful of commercial and residential developments are taking root. The park, initially jumpstarted with public funding, is relying on revenue from commercial and residential development to support maintenance and operations. Brooklyn Bridge Park, the non-profit organization responsible for the park’s operations and construction, issued a request for proposals seeking designs for a private development on 1.5-acre site on the corner of Pearl and John Streets in the park. DUMBO-based Alloy Development has topped the competition and is designing a 47-unit residential building, featuring a gradient patterned facade made of brick and glass.
“We have done a lot of work here in the neighborhood. This will be our fourth building in the area,” said Jared Della Valle, president and co-founder of Alloy. “While the building is not subject to the jurisdiction of landmarking, we have this intuitive understanding of the place and wanted to come up with a design that is contextual.”
The building is a nod to the architectural vernacular of the industrial warehouse buildings in the neighborhood, but is designed to have its own identity, and to illicit a “double take response” when seen from Manhattan, said Della Valle.
The top of the building aligns directly with the Manhattan Bridge. To maximize the views of the water and maintain balanced acoustical levels, Alloy decided to grow the windows from top down reaching up to 9.5 feet on the lower floors.
The ground floor will be dedicated to commercial and retail space, and provide nearly 1,800-square-feet of cultural space for an annex of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum based in Crown Heights.
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates will design new parkland around the development, which will include a revamped entrance at Jay Street, tree-lined paths, pedestrian bridges over a tidal salt marsh, and a 13,000-square-foot lawn.
“We wanted to make sure that we give back and do our part through great architecture and great programming,” said Della Valle. “As a developer we have a unique opportunity to program as well as design and come up with something that would be great for all of us.”