Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at Building 92
Friday 31 May 2013


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The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at Building 92 is a new public programs and exhibition centre celebrating the Navy Yard’s past, present and future. Created through the adaptive reuse and expansion of the historic Marine Commandant’s house, the 34,000 sq ft sustainable facility includes leasable space for mission-related tenants, a classroom, and a café and public event space. The new 24,500sq ft, four-storey addition is a contemporary interpretation of the surrounding industrial vernacular and is connected to the existing building by a three-storey lobby that provides a welcoming entry and gathering space.

The project included careful restoration of Building 92’s deteriorated shell based on available historic renderings and photographs, and the adaptive reuse of the interior to create 6,000 sq ft of exhibition space. To correct severe settlement suffered over the years, the building was stabilized with a second perimeter foundation created through drilled displacement piles and grade beams, and the masonry exterior was reinforced with grout injection and stainless steel masonry ties.  Concurrently, modern systems and new technologies were seamlessly integrated, preparing the building for its new use in the 21st-century.

On the addition’s south façade, a glass curtain wall provides a striking yet harmonious contrast to the solidity of the brick masonry of the historic structure. To limit solar gain, and to create a dynamic public face for the Navy Yard, the curtain wall is clad in a perforated metal screen designed as a laser-cut abstraction of a photograph of the 1936 launch of the USS Brooklyn. The new south-facing forecourt and grove opens to the public, literally and figuratively breaking down the wall that historically separated the once cloistered Navy Yard from the surrounding community.