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NYC Concrete Facility

Location: 738 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Completion Date: Fall 2021

Client: US Concrete

Size: 10,600 SF

US Concrete selected RODE to design a high-tech concrete facility on the western edge of the Sunset Park neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. This provided our team with the unique opportunity (and challenge) to design a facility that changes the way people look at industrial buildings—how to place a manufacturing plant on a prominent, urban site that seamlessly fits into an industrial context and a residential context? How to design the facility so that it becomes a catalyst for future development along the waterfront?

The site, located in a heavy industrial zone that abuts a densely-populated neighborhood influenced us to design a building that retains its industrial identity but also responds to the adjacent residential zone. To address this, we placed the facility's office, switch gear, and transformer buildings along Third Street. This strategic design move creates an active street edge and arrival point. To soften the presence of these necessary but gritty components, the buildings are wrapped in a perforated metal paneling to match the main plant.

To further humanize the site, we integrated public realm improvements into our design. Well-lit paths and wayfinding along the perimeter of the site promote walkability and blur the line between industrial and residential zones. Additionally, the central plant's facade is strategically designed with a mechanical screen that's illuminated from within, allowing the structure to cast light onto the surrounding streetscape like a beacon. Through this, a dark, unwelcoming site beneath an overpass is transformed into a safe landmark destination. 

Another consideration for the team was the site's close proximity to the water, FEMA coordination efforts heavily impacted the design. We raised the site above the flood datum and incorporated flood protection technologies to protect the future facility and adjacent coastline.

As industrial facilities expand into our cities and neighborhood to accommodate commerce, manufacturing, and supply chain needs, the New York Concrete facility is a shining example of how architecture can elevate a traditionally abrasive type of building into an expression of beauty and function that contextually responds to any surrounding. 

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