ODA bucks a shortlist of 14 firms to design pair of controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park towers

Pier 6 towers. (Courtesy ODA Archtiecture)

Pier 6 towers. (Courtesy ODA Architecture)

Last August, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) unveiled 14 proposed designs for a pair of controversial towers it planned to build near the park’s southern-most pier. Under a Bloomberg-era development plan, sites along the park would be leased to private developers to finance the upkeep of Michael Van Valkenburgh‘s 85-acre green space. These two towers near Pier 6 represented the last piece of the development puzzle.

But now there’s been a change.

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s overly bouncy pedestrian bridge remains overly bouncy, off limits

Squibb Park Bridge pre-Pierhouse development. (Branden Klayko / AN)

Squibb Park Bridge pre-Pierhouse development. (Branden Klayko / AN)

When it opened in 2013, the Squibb Park Bridge that zigzagged between Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park instantly became one of the most thrilling pieces of the waterfront retreat. The HNTB-designed pedestrian bridge was designed to have some bounce in it, so getting to the park was more than a typical pedestrian experience, it was a fun little adventure. At least for the humans voyaging across it—dogs hated it. The petrified, why-are-you-doing-this-to-me looks on their faces as the wood structure ebbed and flowed were haunting.

And perhaps offered more-than-a-little foreshadowing.

With slight alterations, controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park development to start back up

Architecture, Development, East
Friday, February 20, 2015
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The Pierhouse in January. (Courtesy Field Condition)

The Pierhouse in January. (Courtesy Field Condition)

In our recent story about the current development surge happening in and around Dumbo, we touched on the controversy surrounding the Pierhouse—an under-construction hotel and condo complex next to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Marvel Architects–designed building, which will help cover Brooklyn Bridge Park‘s maintenance costs, has riled up local residents who say it is blocking their views of the iconic bridge.

Continue reading after the jump.

Take a tour inside the under-construction Empire Stores in Dumbo, Brooklyn

The Empire Stores' facade. (Henry Melcher / AN)

The Empire Stores’ facade. (Henry Melcher / AN)

Over the weekend,  AN joined an Open House New York on a tour of the under-construction Empire Stores warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The old coffee bean warehouse was built in the 1870s, but has been sitting empty along the East River for decades. By next fall, though, the Empire Stores will have been transformed with all the Brooklyn-type fixings you’d expect. Yes, there is an artisanal Brooklyn market featuring local purveyors. And office space for tech and creative companies. And cafes, restaurants, and beer gardens. Included in the mix is also a rooftop public park and a museum focused on New York City‘s waterfront.

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn Bridge Park unveils 14 tower designs amid community debate

Proposal from Alloy Design + Bjarke Ingels Group. (Courtesy Alloy Design + Bjarke Ingels Group)

Proposal from Alloy Design + Bjarke Ingels Group. (Courtesy Alloy Design + Bjarke Ingels Group)

All the top names in New York City architecture are vying for a piece of Brooklyn Bridge Park, but whether any of their designs will be realized still remains to be seen. As community groups try to block Mayor de Blasio’s controversial plans to bring affordable housing to Michael Van Valkenburgh‘s celebrated park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation has unveiled 14 design proposals for two coveted development sites on Pier 6. Those proposals were unveiled just hours before a Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation meeting that was packed with community members voicing their strong opposition to any new development in the park.

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Local Group Tries to Block Affordable Housing at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Development sites at Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy)

Development sites at Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy)

As AN covered earlier this month, Mayor de Blasio’s plan to bring affordable housing to Brooklyn Bridge Park has received steep opposition from local groups in neighboring Brooklyn Heights. They contend new housing development will eat up public space and that under-market housing would not provide necessary funding for park maintenance. Under a Bloomberg-era plan, revenue from private, market-rate development would help cover upkeep at the Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates-designed park. Under de Blasio, 30 percent of the two proposed towers for the park–one 31 stories and the other 16–would be subsidized. The groups opposing that plan have now formalized their opposition against it.

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Brooklyn Dominates 2014 Municipal Art Society MASterworks Awards

Architecture, Awards, East
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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The Weeksville Heritage Center by Caples Jefferson Architects took the MASterworks top honor. (NIC LEHOUX)

The Weeksville Heritage Center by Caples Jefferson Architects took the MASterworks top honor. (NIC LEHOUX)

For over 120 years, the Municipal Art Society has been an important organization in New York City’s efforts to promote a more livable environment and preserve the best of its past. It’s successful preservation campaigns and advocacy for better architecture—such as its advocacy to rebuild a better Penn Station—are well known. Now the organization has announced its annual MASterworks Awards, and of the nine buildings selected this year as honorees, many are in Brooklyn, confirming that borough’s continuing upgrading evolution.

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Delays Plague New Waterfront Park in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park

Aerial rendering of the park's first phase. (Courtesy Adrian Smith Landscaping)

Aerial rendering of the park’s first phase. (Courtesy Adrian Smith Landscape Architecture)

As Brooklyn Bridge Park opens two new piers, a planned green space five miles south continues to sit empty. Work began on Bush Terminals Piers Park in Sunset Park in 2009—just months after Brooklyn Bridge Park got started—but has been behind construction fencing ever since. The park was slated to start opening last fall, but that did not happen. And it’s still not clear when it will.

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn Bridge Parks Opens New Pier and Beach

The ribbon cutting.

The ribbon cutting. (Henry Melcher / AN)

The opening of a new pier and beach at Michael Van Valkenburgh’s Brooklyn Bridge Park this week marks the halfway point in the transformation of the celebrated 85-acre site. Local elected officials and community leaders—including Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver—appeared on the new Pier 2 to mark the occasion. They used words like “amazing” and “unbelievable” to describe the new six acres of space, but didn’t need much help selling the project.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> Bjarke Ingels’ Mantaray Will Soar Over Brooklyn Bridge Park

City Terrain, East
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
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(Courtesy BIG)

(Courtesy BIG)

Bjarke Ingels and Michael Van Valkenburgh are teaming up to design Pier 6 at the southern end of Brooklyn Bridge Park. As AN reported, the pier will feature a pastoral landscape terminated by a triangular viewing pavilion called the Mantaray. The landscape and viewing platform will offer unmatched views of the Manhattan skyline and accommodate special events like concerts. Take a look at the gallery of renderings below or read more about the project here.

View the gallery after the jump.

New York City Rep Velázquez Announces Bill to Improve & Protect Waterfront

City Terrain, East
Thursday, August 1, 2013
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View of East River. (Nicole Anderson/AN)

View of East River. (Nicole Anderson/AN)

Taking the podium at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City Representative Nydia M. Velázquez introduced new legislation, called the “Waterfront of Tomorrow Act,” to protect and fortify New York City’s 538-miles of coastline. The bill would instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with an in-depth plan to stimulate economic growth and job creation, update the ports, and implement flood protection measures. Sandwiched between Red Hook Container Terminal and One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a large residential development, the pier was an appropriate place for the Congresswoman to announce legislation that addresses the city’s needs to bolster its shipping industry while also taking steps to mitigate flooding and ensure the resiliency and sustainability of its residential neighborhoods, parkland, and businesses.

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Unveils Ten Proposals to Restore Waterfront Warehouses

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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Team Six's Proposal for Empire Stores coffee warehouses (Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park)

Team Six’s Proposal for Empire Stores coffee warehouses (Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park)

Proposals galore! Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) is moving full speed ahead with its plans to develop parcels of its 1.3-mile waterfront expanse. In September, the Park released a Request for Proposals seeking a developer to restore and makeover the crumbling Empire Stores warehouses into a lively mixed-use development consisting of office, commercial, and retail space, while also preserving the integrity of the massive historic structure.

Continue reading after the jump.

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