Copper is Revitalizing Brooklyn’s East River Waterfront
23 Oct 2018
Dating all the way back to 1856, the Domino Sugar refinery complex was once a sprawling industrial campus alongside Brooklyn’s East River, producing more sugar than anywhere else in the world and 98 percent of all sugar consumed in the United States. Following a series of economic changes that began in the 1950s, economic slowdown in Brooklyn placed a strain on the refinery, forcing it to finally close its doors in 2004. However thanks to SHoP Architects, the waterfront has begun a remarkable transformation using architectural copper.
As part of SHoP’s massive plan for the area, they recently completed work on 325 Kent Avenue, a new residential structure that offers spectacular views from Brooklyn’s East River Waterfront. The new building gives both residents and passersby something to marvel at with its copper façade, both for its beauty and performance. Virtually every unit in this new residence features outdoor space and a view out to the East River and the Manhattan skyline beyond.
The building’s design team utilized copper to re-imagine affordable housing. The façade’s rain screen system is comprised of solid copper sheet covering a waterproofed and insulated backup wall construction.
The copper panels were installed without a factory produced finish so that, left exposed to natural elements, they will weather and patina over time. This cost-effective strategy also creates a dynamic façade that draws in visitors in the park. The team’s goal was to engage the public with the buildings new design as it changed over the course of its lifespan. The use of a 2 millimeter thick rain screen cladding of copper will change color with time. Already, the once shiny orange façade has begun to darken into a green platina in some areas.
325 Kent is the first complete building of SHoP’s 3.3 million square feet master plan for the Domino Sugar Refinery Development. The development will provide a mix of office space, market-rate and affordable housing, retail, and community facilities, while adding 60 percent more publicly-accessible space to the area’s original plan creating a new form of open architecture that connects the existing neighborhood to the new quarter-mile waterfront.
Next time you’re strolling through Brooklyn, spend some time exploring its newest gem, the 325 Kent Avenue building, you’ll love it!