608 Franklin Avenue

ODA Architecture has designed a boxy, glassy building – with multi-paned windows somewhat reminiscent of an old factory building — to replace the brewery at 608 Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights.  New York YIMBY was the first to publish the rendering.

The specifics of the plans have changed slightly: The building, which will be quite large and take up much of the block between Bergen Street and Dean Street, will rise to eight stories and have a total of 130,00 square feet. There will be 120 rental units — studios, one and two bedroom units. Twenty percent of the units will be income-restricted, according to NYY. The mixed-use building will have 19,000 square feet of retail space.

The development will replace three rundown, low-rise structures on the Dean Street side of the property, not the 19th century brick brewery building on Bergen, as reported previously. The corner lot also has 141 feet of frontage on Franklin Avenue.

While the design reminds us of buildings in the Ladies’ Mile area in Manhattan rather than Crown Heights, it strikes us as a far cry above the majority of new construction. What do you think of it?

Revealed: ODA’s 608 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights [NYY]
Eight Story Mixed-Use Building to Replace Part of Crown Heights Brewery [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering: ODA Architecture via NY YIMBY


Architect Francis Cauffman’s design for the Hotel Workers Healthcare Center and Office Building at 620 Fulton Street in Fort Greene departs from the usual glassy cube or tower. It is “teardrop shaped,” according to the architect, with a textured glass facade. (We assume the teardrop shape refers to the footprint of the building, which sits on a triangular lot.) The curved shape and design of the facade give it a “sculptural,” “dynamic” quality — we agree, the striations on the facade make the building appear to be moving.

The facade is a unitized curtain wall system — aka it’s a non structural facade made of pieces joined together — and the materials are fritted glass and 10-inch glass fins that project from the building, according to New York YIMBY, which first published the renderings. (Fritted glass is porous; there is such a thing as fritted glass whose pattern can change from opaque to transparent to control light and heat, although we don’t know if that’s the case here.)

Or, in the architect’s words: “These architectural features will appear to dissolve the edges of the building and create a dynamic, sculptural form that gives a different impression to passersby from different vantage points.”

It does give the impression of motion or ripples.

The office and medical center will be 12 stories, as already reported. More than half of the office space will be leased out, and there will shops on the ground floor. Construction is slated to start this spring, with move-in set for fall 2016. The building replaces a parking lot.

Click through to see more. What do you think of the design?

Revealed: 620 Fulton Street, Office Building in Downtown Brooklyn [NYY] GMAP
Renderings by Francis Cauffman


Another grotesque conglomeration of the old and new is planned for 533 Leonard Street in Greenpoint. A rendering on the construction fence shows an attractive red brick 19th century school building apparently being eaten alive by a “dark ‘n’ boxy Transformer” (Curbed’s words) clinging to its backside. The “Transformer,” aka the new addition, will house 13 apartments and be 50 feet tall.

Philip Toscano is the architect, according to Curbed, which was the first to publish the rendering. Click through for a close-up. At least they’re not demo’ing the old building, is all we can say.

New Greenpoint Building Looks Like a Transformer Ate It [Curbed]
Photos by Curbed (more…)


Get ready for Open House New York, two days when hundreds of sites across the city are open for visits, talks, performances and other special events with designers, architects, preservationists and others.

The full schedule for events taking place the weekend of October 11 and 12 will not be public until September 30, but we already know about several very exciting site visits planned for Brooklyn:

*Crowdfunding startup Kickstarter will throw open the doors on its renovation of the landmarked Eberhard Faber pencil factory, above, in Greenpoint. Architects Ole Sondresen Architect will discuss the design and construction process.

*Architects Caples Jefferson will lead a tour of the new Weeksville Heritage Center in Crown Heights the firm designed and explain the symbolism of the building.

*Turnstile Tours will give free tours of Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal, the U.S.’s largest military supply base through the end of World War II, whose staggered balconies in its iconic atrium were designed by Cass Gilbert.

Photo via Open House New York


We were surprised to see Curbed reblog a story of ours about the third Edge tower from December yesterday but appreciate the shoutout. Later, Curbed tracked down a rendering of the tower we haven’t seen before.

The design looks pretty similar to the other Edge buildings. There is one big difference, however, that stands out: Apparently the tower at 2 North 6th Place will be dark colored. In fact, it looks black in the rendering. The other Edge buildings are glassy and white.

Has the Edge gone goth? What do you think of the design?

Photo by Curbed

242 pacific street 1

A partially constructed townhouse at the corner of Pacific Street and Boerum Place in Boerum Hill has hit the market for $4,980,000, and the listing has some fresh renderings with interiors designed by one of the Beastie Boys. The four-bedroom, four-bath house at 242 Pacific Street will weigh in at 4,150 square feet, according to the Corcoran listing.

Brooklyn-based architects John and Jill Bouratoglou are designing and developing the house with Mike Diamond, a founding member of the Beastie Boys who designed his own Cobble Hill townhouse with the Bouratoglous. (He also designed his own wallpaper for it, Flavor Paper’s Brooklyn Toile.) The modern home will feature a double height living room, private garage, two outdoor terraces, a roof deck and a central vacuum cleaner system. Construction is expected to finish in December of this year.

Click through to see the interior renderings. What do you think of the design?

242 Pacific Street Listing [Corcoran]
Single Family Townhouse Planned for Corner of Boerum Place and Pacific Street [Brownstoner]


2 and 4 strong place rendering cobble hill

Construction at the three neo-traditional townhouses at Strong Place and Kane Street in Cobble Hill is close to finished, and Curbed got the first look at some renderings of the interiors. Number 2A, which hit the market last year at $4,475,000, is a 3,720-square-foot home with five bedrooms and 3.5 baths. That house entered contract in April, and the two single-family brownstones at Nos. 2 and 4 have yet to be listed.

Both of those will measure 3,730 square feet and include five bedrooms and 3.5 baths, according to developer Brennan Realty. Each home will feature a backyard, penthouse terraces and a double-height window wall at rear garden and parlor levels. Designed by CWB, the homes are modeled after classic brick townhouses, but the insides are modern. Click through to see the interiors. What do you think of the design?

Peek the Strong Place Townhouses [Curbed]
Three Townhouses Rise on Strong Place [Brownstoner]
Images via Brennan Realty



Do you remember 102 Gates Avenue, an estate sale condition Italianate in Clinton Hill that attracted 350 people to the open house in early 2013? Well, now it’s been beautifully restored and is going on the market in a few weeks, according to a story in the BK to the Fullest. Click through to the jump to see the “after” photos of the restored house.

When it was a House of the Day, we said, “Here’s the kind of listing we love to see: The house needs restoration, but just about every original detail appears to be present.” (more…)


As part of Design Week, BKLYN Designs is back in Dumbo, and there’s a new show at Industry City about design objects and processes featuring local makers.

BKLYN Designs is a juried show of contemporary furnishings, lighting and accessories made or designed in Brooklyn. There will also be special events over the three-day show, which runs today through Sunday, including a panel on design moderated by New York Magazine’s design editor Wendy Goodman, a walking tour of Dumbo with Architect’s Newspaper editor Alan Brake, and a Kidville Brooklyn outdoor play lounge on Jay Street. The main exhibition space is at St. Ann’s Warehouse at 29 Jay Street. For more information, see the BKLYN Designs website.

Industry City/Design will also have demos, workshops and a “Meet the Maker” series. Participants include ToBeUs, Urban Glass, BHold, Alpi, Tools for Working Wood (pictured), and DDC/BuiltNYC. The show opens Saturday and runs through Tuesday May 20 at 220 36th Street in Sunset Park. For more information, check out the show’s website.

whc 1

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of its 14th Building Brooklyn Awards, which evaluate new construction and renovation projects ranging from schools to historic restorations, at the Only Brooklyn Real Estate Summit on Tuesday. Fort Greene’s very modern Theater for a New Audience won in the Arts and Culture category, and the Weeksville Heritage Center (pictured) won for Civic/Institutional.

Other winners included the Coney Island YMCA, Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park, Pave Academy Charter School in Red Hook, the restoration of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility, Coney Island’s planned comfort stations, the Gowanus Whole Foods and Brookland Capital’s Bed Stuy offices.

Kickstarter’s fancy eco-friendly offices in the Eberhard Pencil Factory also made the cut, as did the design for CAMBA Gardens in Flatbush and Two Trees’ revamp of a brick factory at 25 Washington Street. Click over to this slideshow created by the Chamber to see photos and renderings of all the winning buildings.

What do you think of the selections?


There is probably no more all-consuming home design trend in the last 35 years than the “great room,” a giant open plan room that combines family room and dining room with kitchen. This has resulted most recently in Brooklyn in flippers who rip all the walls out of 19th century houses and the building of so-called luxury apartments with tiny strip kitchens in the living room.

Now, according to The New York Times, renters and home buyers both are demanding separate kitchens and dining rooms, and builders are building them. The story details home hunters who purchased a one-bedroom Art Deco apartment in Kensington with a traditional kitchen and a townhouse in Ditmas Park with a separate kitchen and formal oak-paneled dining room. Above, the separate dining room and kitchen at Jessica and Doug Warren’s house in Clinton Hill. Reasons given include:

*Better for entertaining.
*Don’t have to see dirty dishes.
*Hides the prep work.

“So much new construction features open floor plans that there’s a pent-up desire for apartments with separate dining rooms and kitchen,” said one real estate agent. “For a certain demographic, they’re a definite selling point.”

The Times cited many new buildings with traditional floor plans, including one with pocket doors that let the inhabitants decide whether to open or close off the kitchen. All of them, tellingly, are in Manhattan where new construction is focused on the very high end of the market, except for one, the rental building at 250 North 10th in Williamsburg. A third of the studios there feature “single-opening galley kitchens separate from the living area.” They are priced at about $2,500 a month.

“People say, I’ve been looking for this,” said the developer. “Not a majority, but you hear it from people who like to cook. Nevertheless, they don’t want to cook in the middle of their living room.”

Which do you prefer?

The Separate Kitchen Makes a Comeback [NY Times]
Photo by Desire to Inspire