Brooklyn Cultural Experiment

Brooklyn Cultural Experiment

Courtesy Dattner and Bernheimer

A new mixed-use development, called “EyeBAM,” is the latest addition to Brooklyn’s burgeoning Downtown Cultural District. Dattner Architects and Bernheimer Architecture, along with SCAPE / Landscape Architecture, have been selected by the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to design a 12-story building, which will include 109 apartment units (40 percent affordable and 60 percent market rate) and a Craft-branded restaurant. It will also carve out space for two arts-and-science-focused organizations, Eyebeam and Science Gallery.

The building, equipped with entrances on either side, is designed to engage with neighboring cultural institutions. The restaurant will flow into the new Arts Plaza, which is the forecourt to the Theater for a New Audience, and in nice weather, will include outdoor seating to activate the space.


“We really view this site as a hinge of the heart of the Cultural District, and it was very important to create a lively pedestrian experience and open the building to the neighborhood,” said Bill Stein, principal at Dattner Architects.

To further accentuate the cultural space, the architects plan to implement a glazed exterior on the lower levels. The material palette, composed of terracotta and brick, is a nod to Brooklyn’s architectural history.

“We wanted to create a scale and texture to the building that was both contextual to the neighborhood but also gave the building its own identity,” said Stein. “A solid piece of architecture that has variation, color, and texture.”


Two non-profits will take over 27,000 square feet of space in the new building. They share much of the same programmatic needs and will “require flexibility for performance, new technologies for art and display, and a great deal of teaching,” according to Andy Bernheimer, principal at Bernheimer Architecture.

In-set balconies and rooftop terraces, designed by Kate Orff, principal at SCAPE, will provide both residents, cultural organizations, and visitors with ample open space.

The architects are seeking to attain LEED Gold certification. “We are looking, along with the developer Jonathan Rose, to use materials and building systems to make it a sustainable building,” said Stein.

The development is scheduled to break ground in 2015.