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Thread: Domino Sugar Factory renovation & additions - Williamsburg - by Beyer Blinder Belle

  1. #31
    Senior Swanky Peteynyc1's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    Makes me want to change cell carriers to AT&T for some reason.

  2. #32

  3. #33


    Domino Building at Center of Development Clash

    Staff Reporter of the Sun
    February 5, 2008

    Preservationists are set to clash with the company redeveloping the Domino sugar refinery on the Williamsburg waterfront at a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing today. As part of the second-largest development in Brooklyn, which will include five 40-story towers, the developer, Community Preservation Corporation Resources, is seeking to add a five-story glass structure onto the roof of the Domino building, which was given a landmark status in September.

    The developers are aiming to create an 11-acre complex with 2,200 housing units, including 660 that will be dedicated to "affordable" housing. The plan also includes 120,000 square feet of retail space, 100,000 square feet of community facilities space, 1,500 indoor parking spaces, and several acres of open space. The nine residential towers, which will surround the refinery, are designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. Today's hearing will focus exclusively on the fate of the iconic refinery, a building that has come to symbolize New York's faded industrial legacy. Increasingly, northern Brooklyn's waterfront is lined with tall glass condominiums.

    The director of advocacy and policy at the Municipal Art Society, Lisa Kersavage, applauded the developer for its support of landmarking the refinery but said she felt the proposed design, by the architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle, was untenable.

    "We need to see this as precious and be more careful how we treat this building, and this very large glass addition just plunked onto the top of it is just not appropriate," Ms. Kersavage said.

    The president of CPCR, Michael Lappin, said the glass addition is appropriate and is required to make the project economically viable.

    The developer bought the site for $56 million in 2004, and it did not oppose efforts to have part of the factory landmarked, which means that any significant changes to the building must be approved by the 11-member commission.

    "There is an enormous cost to preserve the building. We are trying to create some economics that absorbs that cost. It is reasonable to spread some of that around," Mr. Lappin said.

    The refinery was built by the Havemeyer family and had been in operation since the 1880s before finally shuttering in 2004. At its peak, it had the capacity to produce about 950 million pounds of sugar a year.

    A major point of contention at today's hearing will be the fate of the Domino sign, which faces the New York City skyline, but the developers said no decision on its future has been made.

    The landmarks commission can vote to reject the proposal, propose modifications, or approve it outright.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Sun

  4. #34


    It looks like they are still refining the design. There are noticable differences between the night and day renderings, with the nigth towers having a higher ratio of glass to masonry floors. I think the night design looks better.

  5. #35
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    From Curbed

  6. #36


    I'm smitten with this project.

  7. #37
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    I like it too.

  8. #38


    glad I live on the west side and won't have to see it!

  9. #39
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    I like the development but I don't like the design. Looks just too much like a "complex."

    Why do all buildings in these large-scale type developments have to have matching looks?

  10. #40



    I think the replicated appearance works for this development particularly well (at least in the renderings).

    Or maybe I am just ill today. Down with the flu?

  11. #41

    Default tough call

    I think I agree with you, antinimby, though I'm not fully sure I know what you mean.

    I don't like the mass of identical buildings. Why does every "greenfield" project, where a whole bunch of land frees up, have to be designed as a single entity by a single developer? This is terrible for the streetscape, for the end of having a diverse and interesting city, for young architects who won't be given a chance to test themselves, for old ones who won't be given a chance to secure their legacy, and so on and so on. The only person who benefits is the SOB developer -- and if these mega-plots were broken up, we'd even be sharing the developer wealth. Ugh.

    But as long as it's gotta be developed this way, I like this design (as the renderings show it, at any rate). Could be a limp-d*&% Solow project with a half-dozen "glass sheet" 450-footers.

    The city is dead - long live the city!

  12. #42
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    ^ What I was saying is that they've all got that "cut from the same cloth" look to them, all following the same design theme.

    That would be all right if it was just two or even three buildings but to have that large of a cluster, all having the same look is not a good thing.

    For instance, the ESB and Chrysler buildings are each beautiful in their own right but imagine half a dozen of them, each side by side, with only their heights varying. Then it becomes funny looking.

    The same can also be said of Atlantic Yards. A couple of those twisting, odd shaped Frank Gehry buildings is fine but when you have a whole block of them, then they become too much.

    That's why I've always advocated for Ratner to use different architects to do the buildings there instead of having just one.

    With that said, here is what transpired during yesterday's LPC hearing...

    Plans for Domino Sugar Refinery Elicit Criticism

    Published: February 6, 2008

    Plans for revisions and additions to the landmark Domino Sugar refinery on the Brooklyn waterfront, including five stories of glass apartments on top, drew criticism from preservationists at a hearing before the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday.

    The alterations to the building, which was designated a landmark in September, require the approval of the commission. No vote was taken on Tuesday, and no date was set for a vote.

    The plans, presented in detail for the first time, call for five additional floors of apartments above the 12 floors to be designed within the old building, built in 1884. The first and fifth new floors would be set back six feet from the three floors in the middle, creating a bulging pill shape. Mechanical equipment used in operating the building would be built atop the fifth new floor.

    The refinery’s large chimney, a fixture of the Williamsburg waterfront, would rise above the glass addition.

    The alterations also include several new windows to be created in the old building.

    In addition, the plans call for 2,200 apartments to be built on an 11.5-acre site surrounding the refinery, in buildings of 30 and 40 stories. Thirty percent of the apartments would be reserved for families with low or moderate incomes.

    Michael D. Lappin, a partner in the development of the property, called the addition “striking” and said it was essential in offsetting the cost of building the low-income apartments and a waterfront park.

    Fred Bland, an architect on the project, called the new apartments a “proud addition” to the building, not one to be hidden away, and likened it to changes made to the Tate Modern museum in London. “I’m not trying to create a little tiny addition to it, as a penthouse,” he said.

    Opponents of the alterations spoke against the new floors.

    “The proposed glass box addition, plunked on top of the landmark, is simply too large and lacks the compositional organization and the arrangement of details that would relate it to the landmark,” said Lisa Kersavage, with the Municipal Art Society.

    Frampton Tolbert, deputy director of the Historic Districts Council, called the addition “architecturally incongruous.”

    The alterations were praised by representatives of several church groups and community organizations, which have called for lower-income housing in the neighborhood.

    The developers have not incorporated the familiar Domino Sugar sign into the project, but a member of the development team said they were looking for a way to use it. Some on the landmarks board, including the chairman, Robert B. Tierney, urged the developers to find a place for the sign.

    “Look hard,” Mr. Tierney said.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by antinimby; February 6th, 2008 at 05:44 PM.

  13. #43


    I like the little glass box atop the factory, visually ties the whole thing together.

  14. #44


    I like it.

    The whole thing looks like an industrial complex.

  15. #45


    Because conformity must be enforced.

    Actually, I like it. But will it get crushed going through Landmarks/ULURP?

    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    I like the development but I don't like the design. Looks just too much like a "complex."

    Why do all buildings in these large-scale type developments have to have matching looks?

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