Text description provided by the architects. Working closely with developer Two Trees, SHoP designed 325 Kent – an 80/20 affordable residential building on Brooklyn's East River waterfront. 325 Kent is the first complete building of SHoP’s master plan for the Domino Sugar Refinery Development in Brooklyn, New York. The development will provide a mix of office space, market-rate and affordable housing, retail, and community facilities while adding 60% 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.
325 Kent's size and program were determined by our team’s thorough analysis of the economic and social existing conditions and opportunities of the site, including the renovated Domino Sugar Refinery building next door. In the building’s central courtyard, 325 Kent features a large opening where light and air from the waterfront flow through into the neighborhood. The building steps back from its peak at Domino Square, a new urban waterfront plaza, and tapers into the neighborhood’s existing fabric.
Virtually every unit in this new residence features outdoor space and a view out to the East River and the Manhattan skyline beyond. Further, the units facing the courtyard have terraced balconies and the top floor offers amenities that are shared among the residential community. The building's metal façade is perforated in a variable pattern. This design is both beautiful and performative as it allows the building's HVAC system to "breath” while providing a cost-effective and energy-efficient mechanical strategy. The variability of the façade’s perforation pattern required hundreds of unique, custom-punched panels, the complexity of which was managed through a close relationship between SHoP, Two Tree’s construction team, and our fabricator.
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. It is our team’s goal that this building will engage the public as it adapts over the course of its lifespan. The once shiny orange façade has already begun to darken and patina and some areas are already turning green. Recalling the Statue of Liberty – just down the river from our site – our team harnessed the city’s signature material to re-imagine what affordable housing can look like for New York.