Pier 1 Proposals Put Under the Microscope

At last night’s CB2 meeting, the board’s parks committee presented their recommendations for the hotel and residential development planned at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1. There were comments addressing each of the seven proposals. In general, the committee members suggested that the developments should be built with as little bulk and height as possible; that the majority of parking should go underground; and that there be an ease of movement between buildings and to the park. There were calls for well-placed public restrooms, inviting commercial space and welcoming lobbies, and no ground-floor residential units. One board member commented that the “park is not the residents’ front yard.” The committee members stressed the importance of the “5th facade,” the roof, which will be highly visible, and said it should be pleasant and non-obstructive. They also wanted widened sidewalks on Furman and vehicular drop-off that causes no backup onto Furman. Click through for CB2′s specific comments on each of the proposals, which included opinions on why you wouldn’t want to swim naked in one of the proposed hotels.
Possible Pier 1 Plans Not Without Controversy [Brownstoner]
Possible Plans for Bridge Park Development Site Released [Brownstoner]
Design by WASA/StudioA
Two Trees Design, pictured above
Pros: Good placement of park facilities/restrooms, underground parking.
Cons: Feasibility of the “bio-wall” questionable, loss of a courtyard for underground parking, ground-floor hotel and residential units, lack of commercial establishments catering to park visitors, needs more pass-throughs to park.
Take Away Quote: “It’s an interesting treatment of the S-Shaped Structure.”


Extell; design by Beyer Blinder Belle
Pros: Interesting use of three buildings on Parcel A to break up appearance of bulk, good use of open space, good placement of park restrooms and park support.
Cons: None mentioned.


Toll Brothers; design by Rogers Marvel
Pros: Eliminates/downsizes bulkiness by angling buildings, interesting pass-throughs for access to park, kayak rental well placed, underground parking.
Cons: Location of park restrooms must be revisited, proposal of retail on Furman Street is unrealistic, ground-level apartments.


Dermot Company; design by FXFowle
Pros: The indentation of the western facade at the center of the plaza and ground-level breaks up bulkiness, glass treatment camouflages bulk, numerous cafe/restaurant spaces facing the park, a Squibb Park Bridge connector assists overall pedestrian flow to park.
Cons: Parcel A is to bulky, questions raised about using Parcel B as the future home of St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Take-Away Quote: “The Cantiliver effect makes the building look like a treehouse.”


SDS Procida; design by Leeser Architects
Pros: Interesting open space at the north end of Parcel A.
Cons: The block of glass is overwhleming and bulky, there are residents at the ground-floor, gives the impression the park is the development’s “front yard.” Ground-floor parking removes space from other amenities, no good proposed pass-through to park.
Take-Away Quotes: “It looks like a giant Norwegian cruise ship.” And, of the glass-bottomed pool within the development: “Imagine watching someone swim naked in that.”


RAL; design by Cangelosi Design & Architecture
Pros: None mentioned.
Cons: Excessive appearance of bulk, ground-floor parking inhibits pass-throughs, poor placement of park facilities on Furman.
Take-Away Quote: “This building belongs in Stamford, Connecticut.”


Starwood Capital with Alloy, Hamlin and Monadnock; design by Bernheimer Architects, Alloy Development, nArchitects
Pros: Openness and lots of pass-throughs, underground parking, the possibility to be an iconic structure. It was mentioned that a lot of people like this proposal.
Cons: Garden apartments, the development is a large block, the shimming copper proposed for the exterior may takeover the park and needs to be studied for noise (the copper “widgets” will move in the wind) and for the viewing experience.
Take-Away Quote: “The shimming copper is quite a psychedelic trip”