Domino Sugar Factory Proposed Addition Revealed

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With developer CPC and architects Beyer Blinder Belle beginning to make the rounds to sell their proposal for modifications to the now-landmarked refinery building of the Domino Sugar Factory, it was only a matter of time before the closely-guarded renderings came to light. We crammed into the Community Board 1 headquarters last night with about 15-20 other people to catch the powerpoint presentation and came away with a few dozen photos. The money shots are above—the five-story glass addition to the roof of the refinery. The big-picture plan for the building includes 30,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, community use space on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors, and residential from the 5th floor up. (No pedestrian bridges though!) The residential portion will have a courtyard hollowed out in the middle of the building. Two other high-level stats for the project as a whole: 2,200 residential units and, get this, 1,550 underground parking spaces. The developers had originally hoped to have begun the ULURP process by February but it’s now looking more like April or May.
BREAKING! LPC Approves Historic Designation for Domino [Brownstoner]
CPC Shows and Tells Its Plans for Domino [Brownstoner] GMAP
Plans for ‘New Domino’ Released by City Planning [Brownstoner]

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  • The side view isn’t all that great, but is it wrong of me to like how the whole complex looks from Manhattan? (Probably yes, I’m sure.)

  • To those people who think Mr.B is slacking.
    Craming into Community Board 1 headquarters and getting money shots.

    Nice one B!

  • looks like the projects. where’s the Domino sign?

  • How does it look? Like crap – but then again the Domino Factory looks like crap so what did you expect.

  • It looks goofy, but I’m sure it would grow on everyone in time. But it does look goofy. To me.

  • cool like trump’s westside manhattan complex is cool.

  • Wheee! Good goddamm, that’s a LOT of apartments.

  • The interesting blend of bricks and glass looks pretty good, at least in the rendering. This is vastly superior to the Trump west side project architecturally.

  • Herzog & de Meuron made a glass box on top a factory a long time ago – Tate Modern in London.

    Can somebody please think of something new to do when converting old factories?

    The renderings for the Battery Maritime terminal thingy were exactly the same.

  • The Viñoly master plan has always been well designed (IMO). Not just a step up from the average waterfront development, but an actual work of architecture and planning. (Its still way too supersized, from a density and height point of view – CPC should get what all the developers got in the rezoning, this is substantially more.)

    The refinery portion of the project does not rise to that level. The addition is out of scale, but there is also no attempt to relate to (or create a dialog with) the historic building. The fact that they would take the rather pure form of the glass box and drop those huge boxes on top shows that they really don’t care. (And in a big FU to the neighborhood, they take away the views of the smokestack, the views of the bridge and the Domino sign!)

    (Most of the rest of the refinery is pretty good – standard issue preservation stuff, handled competently. The addition is not good preservation, nor is it good architecture.)

  • Hey, we have a out-of-work architecture major giving us Preservation 101 at 10:32 AM.

  • Oops…I’m late with this but will reiterate a previous comment: Looks like a clumsy rip-off of Herzog and DeMeuron’s elegant Tate Modern. They’re remarkably similar projects from a strictly architectural and site specific standpoint. Too bad BBB learned nothing from their predecessors. Also the scale and sheer number of surrounding towers is way out of whack. The difference between a commercially motivated and a civic-minded project is rarely more stark.

  • Truly hideous. Why is new york architecture such shit????? Why is Trump horrificness basically the standard for new development?

  • my advice to those considering overpaying for a condo in williamsburg this year: wait – you’ll be glad you did…

  • I came to a realization about Brownstowner and how the majority of the posters are negative. Practicing the same thinking as lets say a FOX news, they culture on this site is negative. It all starts from the writer(s) on this site. The headlines and the general feeling is negative. Sensationalism attracts more crowds then positive or intellectual pieces.

    I notice the exact same issues on other blogs but the majority of their post are positive or at least constructive criticism. But on here he get anger or smart ass remarks.

    Just a a observation

  • THIS is an amazing project. You people are retarded to be so negative!

    Jeez, a desolate waterfront is about to explode with people and community and public space.

    Does anyone not with a stick up their ass want to talk about these profound changes to our city??

    Williamsburg is going to be the most, and listen to me hear, valuable property in Brooklyn.

    It will be the hipper extension of Manhattan. And, it will definitely be more valuable space than scary smelly Dumbo which manages to disgust with 2 bridges and the BQE and a horrendous housing project.

    If you can get into Williamsburg right now around $650K, you are going to make shit loads down the road while living in NYC’s best hood for restaurants, night life and shopping.

    This is going to be it people.

  • Looks like stale, muddled crap. With a site that large can’t anyone do something original that will genuinely call out to the world, “This is Brooklyn” not what I see as “Welcome to shittown”

    my 2 cents

  • “Does anyone not with a stick up their ass want to talk about these profound changes to our city??”

    The commenter at 10:32 gave it a shot, and was instantly mocked for being an “out of work architect.” Anyway, I don’t mind the scale, particularly; that’s a pretty desolate strip of Williamsburg. I don’t even mind the addition to the refinery, really. But why do the new towers have the brick/glass thing? It’s the kind of lazy new/old hybrid architecture that’s neither contextual nor interesting, but is designed to do nothing but shut up the preservationists and the developers. And in this case, it’s pretty ugly too.

  • 11:43 – not brick and glass – what all wood with no windows? all steel and no glass. all glass?

    aren’t tons of NY buildings including one’s from a hundred years ago brick and glass?

    what is that you want?

  • Why so much parking? That’s totally insane.

  • 10:32 here – sorry, I was busy at work. As I said, the project overall is too big – the rezoning set a pretty high standard for density, go with that and be done. As for the brick and glass, I rather like it – reminds me of the glass top on the “Domino sign” building.

    Regarding parking, the number includes parking for the retail component of the project. And they manage to keep it all below grade. But yeah, its a shit load of cars.

    OK, back to work now.

  • I don’t mind parking as long as it’s underground. Parking garages should always be underground. Nothing kills like a giant parking lot.

    But it’s the towers that are disappointing. I think the glass box on top of the old factory building could be cool, but it is so incredibly foolish to take down the most defining element of the building – the Domino sign! That sign will be nothing but a draw for the project, and will help unite and brand the whole complex. It’s the single most recognizable part of the Domino Factory now.

    Beyer Blinder and Belle is referred to as Blah Blah and Blah in the architectural world. They are the firm that sparked the call for an international design competition for Ground Zero – because their initial scheme was so banal and boring everyone said “what the hell???” when it was released. Then we had the open competition for the master plan, and Liebeskind won it.

    Here we’ve got good master planning by Vinoly, but boring execution of giant new towers by a firm that specializes in staid restorations. I just don’t think they are the ones for the job, and I think these towers, while exciting in scale, will just be a jaw-dropping “so what” if built according to this design.

  • I don’t understand. If the factory is designated a landmark, does that mean they can still build something on top of it? Or does it have to go through an approval process? I don’t like it. The towers are so tall and weird. Looks like Tudor City. Who in God’s name is gonna fill all those units??? Yes, 1238, BBB has done some nice historical work. Maybe if they just brought it down a notch or 2 or.. 13.

  • 12:38 – Viñoly did the master plan AND the towers. BBB is only responsible for the refinery.

    1:39 – Yes, an approval process. That was what last night’s CB1 meeting was about. The official Landmarks hearing is next Tuesday.

  • Oh. OK, Thanks for the clarification. I still think it’s too tall. Too Trump. It also looks like the bars on a cell phone in those T-Mobile? Commercials where everything looks like signal bars.

  • 12:38 – You and many others, including the media, completely misunderstood Beyer Blinder Belle’s master plan proposal (meant to be massing models and not designs) for the WTC site. Do us a favor and educate yourself before misguiding others.

  • It’s a piece of crap, and we are the idiots who will be paying for it.
    Katan, Ratner and the rest of the vultures should all burn in hell together.

  • Great, now the few artists that live in the area will be completely pushed out of the city for you yuppies! Forget creativity, we only need Bankers, Lawyers, Doctors etc. Who needs artists!

    Thanks developers, for ruining the character of New York City.