DRAW Brooklyn reveals a mixed-use “Model Block” for Red Hook

On The Hook

DRAW Brooklyn reveals a mixed-use “Model Block” for Red Hook

Red Hook’s replacement of shuttered industrial buildings continues apace as today DRAW Brooklyn unveiled Model Block, a mixed-use complex that will take over for a vacant warehouse at 145 Wolcott Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Model Block’s approach to the site could be considered “all of the above;” not only is DRAW Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.-based developer Four Points, LLC bringing 210 apartments to the new complex (61 of them earmarked as affordable), but the building will hold space for retail, restaurants, an art gallery, offices, and even light manufacturing (including, as DRAW Brooklyn points out, art manufacturing).

From the renderings, it looks like Model Block will be bisected into two halves, with the residential tower reaching 14 stories atop the podium closer to the water’s edge. Likewise, the materiality and window patterning of the complex has been broken up across the massing, with vertically striated concrete, various brick configurations, and floor-to-ceiling windows in some sections helping to create the illusion of multiple buildings rather than an aggregate.

A total of 160,000 square feet has been blocked off for the taller residential portion, while retail, restaurants, and offices will occupy 74,325 square feet, and another 65,675 square feet has been set aside for manufacturing.

model block, a mixed-use development in red hook, under a sunset
The taller residential portion of Model Block will top out at 14 stories. (Courtesy Arquitectonica)

“This is a site my neighbors and others from across Red Hook have discussed for years — often at community planning sessions on the ground floor of my house on Van Brunt Street. The Model Block is the direct result of those conversations,” said Alexandros Washburn, the founder of DRAW Brooklyn, former Chief Urban Designer of New York City Department of City Planning, and project team leader, in a press release.

“We asked our neighbors: what do we need in Red Hook?” added Washburn. “What do we love about Red Hook? And how can we get it all in a model block? The top priorities that emerged were clear: housing, jobs, resilience and the environment. And the process was clear: doing it in a way that was shaped and led by the community. We are thrilled to unveil this proposal, and we’re looking forward to continuing those conversations with our friends and neighbors.”

Washburn was joined by a bevy of architecture studios in both the community outreach and design process for Model Block, including Arquitectonica, Brooklyn’s cross-disciplinary AE Superlab, and Manhattan’s Marpillero Pollak Architects.

an elevated concrete plaza
Model Block’s central courtyard, shown here, will be 28 feet above flood level, creating a gathering space for residents after emergencies. (Courtesy Arquitectonica)

Of course, due to the site’s industrial heritage, the development team will first need to remediate the parcel Model Block is planned for through New York State’s Brownfields Cleanup Program.

While no cost has been made public yet, Model Block has already entered review through the New York Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) process, including public feedback. The BSA review, including a relevant Community Board 6 meeting, is expected to wrap up this year, with Model Block scheduled to break ground in 2022 and open in 2024.