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Brooklyn skyscraper, New York, United States

Friday 19 Feb 2016

SHoP Architects plan Brooklyn’s tallest tower

Brooklyn skyscraper by SHoP Architects PC in New York, United States
SHoP Architects 
Brooklyn skyscraper by SHoP Architects PC in New York, United States
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The wave of tall skyscrapers in New York spreads from Manhattan into Brooklyn 

SHoP Architects have revealed plans for a new 325-metre-tall tower in Brooklyn, USA.

If the project goes ahead the 73-storey tower will become the tallest building in the borough and the first supertall building in New York outside of Manhattan. It will follow the trend for building tall towers which is spreading across the East River and fuelling debate centred on the future of Brooklyn’s skyline.

The skyscraper, to be built by JDS Development Group and the Chetrit Group, would be more than double the height of the 512-foot (156-metre) Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, which was once the tallest in Brooklyn.

SHoP Architects’ portfolio also includes Barclays Center, another of the most recognizable new buildings in Brooklyn.

The architects say they drew inspiration from the limestone-columned Brooklyn Dime Savings Bank, which sits next door to the site of the tower and would be incorporated into the property. The bronzed ribbons running up the tower’s glassy sides draw on details of the bank, and its hexagonal shape echoes the bank’s footprint.

Part of the tower would rest on a rear portion of the bank, which the developer hopes to demolish; this could become a sticking point, since the bank is a New York City landmark.

According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat the wider issue for many would seem to be the building’s height, even in a neighbourhood and city marked by tall towers. “Yes, the city planned this for a new Brooklyn,” Gina Pollara, the newly appointed president of the Municipal Art Society, said. “But does the public really understand what the cumulative effect of all these towers will be on the public realm?”

In 2014, JDS and Chetrit spent $46m on a five-story midcentury building that covers about a third of the triangular site and would be demolished to accommodate most of the tower. In December, the developers acquired the bank building, until last year a branch of JPMorgan Chase, for $90m. They plan to use its soaring Beaux-Arts spaces for shops as well as incorporating roughly 300,000 sq ft (28,000 sq m) of air rights that would make the tower’s spire possible.

A 1,066-ft (325-m) tower can be built along Flatbush Avenue without any special approvals from the city, but since the exterior and interior of the bank building – opened in 1908 and expanded in 1932 – are protected, alterations to the bank must be approved by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. A hearing before the commission is scheduled for March 15.

Working for the same developers SHoP is designing a 1,400-foot-tall (426m) tower in Midtown Manhattan, which also incorporates a landmarked old building into its base.

The firm is also planning New York's tallest timber-framed building and designing a multi-tower complex on the Brooklyn waterfront in the Williamsburg.

Nick Myall

News Editor

Key Facts

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Value (m€)
SHoP Architects PC

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