New York City, New York / 2015

This pair of mixed-use towers features 440 residential units atop five levels of commercial and retail space with a Skydeck spanning between. The project is broken up into several discrete, interlocking parts separated by deep gaps and joints that undermine the reading of the combined object as a unity. At the same time, when several of these parts are glance cut together, their membership in the same overall composition is reinforced. For example, when a cutting plane slices across both towers and the Skydeck, this produces a sense of continuity where there is none.

Reified Reflections

Rather than reflecting the local context, the two towers cast shadows on one another. These shadows are reified into a patchy building skin with massive dark figures that are as strong as the figures of the towers themselves. Because these figures run across mass edges and drift, They read as an independent third object rather than as a system of articulation. This patchy skin becomes two distinct facade types: a matte black anodized aluminum façade with punched windows, and a glass curtain wall with a pattern of large-scale joints.

With apertures of similar scale and density, the punched windows resonate with the neighboring Domino Sugar Factory, while the glass curtain wall feels unfamiliar in terms of scale and orientation due to its suppression of minor joints in favor of superjoints. The incongruence of the two systems heightens perceptions of old versus new and everyday real versus the unknown.

Location: Williamsburg, New York
Floor Area: 400,000 SF
Program: Mixed-Use Residential (393 Units)
Client: Two Trees
Masterplanner: SHoP with Field Operations
Structural: Buro Happold Consulting Engineers