The new offices for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) on the 9th Floor of a recently rehabilitated warehouse at the Yard set design standards for new workspace in this historic building.
World Architecture & Design Awards 2019
First Award | Category: Office Corporate
Architects: Laurie Hawkinson
Studio: Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects LLP
Team Members: Laurie Hawkinson, Henry Smith-Miller, Galen Pardee, Alex Cornhill, Alex Mann
Country: United States
Leaving the concrete slab ceiling exposed to highlight the existing sculptural column capitals, the project’s disciplined ceiling layout affords a near perfect workplace environment, with shadowless lighting and low velocity heating and cooling.
In deference to a democratic work-space, all Corporation employees, constituents, and visitors enjoy visual and physical access to a 270-degree panorama of the Brooklyn Navy Yard site and Manhattan across the East River. A yellow observation platform and seating area in the northeast corner provides an even greater view of lower Manhattan, and a communal meeting area for all.
Program teams are arranged according to their activities, with departments requiring privacy and security housed in spaces close to the building core and common elevator lobby. Spaces hosting collective efforts are celebrated in floor to ceiling glass enclosed conference rooms, with informal meeting areas near windows and the view.
Several columns remain in the found condition to recall the histories of previous occupants, with original paint colors, signage, and graffiti. Building services are installed parallel to, and “offset” from, existing and new construction, permitting future alteration, replacement, painting, and/or refinishing.
Desks, file storage, and worktables are oriented to create an informal workspace -encouraging cross-departmental collaboration. Departmental territories are identified by shared conference rooms named after key battleships built at the Yard. Large format archival plan drawings of warships are displayed at conference rooms, with a very large
sectional drawing of the U.S.S. Missouri at the office entrance. The reception area features benches and a coffee table designed with salvaged timber from Admiral’s Row.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is entering a period of transformation, along with Brooklyn and Queens’ East River waterfront. The BNYDC’s new offices are designed to accommodate this transition, providing a clean and forward-looking platform for modification and expansion.