Bjarke Ingels is planning to go big in Brooklyn Heights.
The Copenhagen-born architect, who works and lives in Dumbo, was at the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday morning with plans for a rooftop addition to the St. George Tower at 111 Hicks Street, as part of a renovation of the 29th and 30th floors of the building.
While presenting the project, the architect said this is a personal project. “I have a massive self-interest because I hope to make it my home,” he told the commission.
Plans call for the construction of a fake water tower which will house elevator room bulkhead, convenience stair bulkhead, extensions to two flutes that currently exist on the rooftop, a raised floor deck and a pool.
Ingels, through a press representative for his firm, Bjarke Ingels Group, did not respond to a request for comment.
Commissioners had few problems with what Ingels had proposed. If anything, they seemed excited. Commissioner Michael Devonshire said he thought the proposal was “very well thought out,” while Commissioner John Gustafsson added, “He had me at the cover page.”
Commissioner Fred Bland questioned the building of the fake water tower but said it would not change his approval vote. The LPC approved the plans.
Ingels, a world-famous architect known for his innovative designs, has been making a name for himself in Brooklyn Heights as of late. In April, his firm released a proposal for the reconstruction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which would turn the cantilevered roadway into public space (or, alternatively, turn the debris into a sloping rock wall), create a six-lane highway at ground level and put a public park on top. It would extend Brooklyn Bridge Park and save the promenade.
Back in 2010, the co-op board at 111 Hicks Street, under financial pressure, decided to unlock some of the building’s hidden value by clearing out the former water tower storage space on the 30th floor and getting approval to convert it into an apartment.
The St. George Tower — once a wing of one of the largest and most luxurious hotels in the entire city, named after a tavern that once stood on the same location — was built in 1929 and converted into co-ops in 1984.
[Renderings via New York Landmarks Commission]
- Walkabout: Brooklyn’s Hotel St. George
- 111 Hicks’ Raw But Oh-So-Awesome New Penthouse
- Architect Transforms Brooklyn Heights Co-op Lobby From Grim to Glam