Project Manager/Designer: David Blaustein
Most industrial buildings were constructed either for factory uses or heavy loading as warehouses. Since these uses no longer represent the best use for owners, the zoning resolution recognizes the support required to continue these uses and allows owners to expand existing non-complying buildings, but only up to 50% of their existing floor area, regardless of the floor area permitted by the underlying zoning district. Many buildings are now taking advantage of these provisions to allow for a higher return and increase the lower rental value. Adding floors to these types of buildings can be tricky because of the present day building code requirement for compliance with seismic design. The connection between old and new and the enhancement of the existing structure is typically mandated by these additions. A rigid core running from old to new and diagonal interior bracing allow both structures to act as one and resist wind forces and other load factors. The look of a new five story mass topping the existing building is controlled by the zoning resolution's sky exposure plane and by aesthetic considerations relating to that much bulk over an existing structure. By extending the addition along the side of the existing building as well as the top, the two begin to blend. With fenestration that matches the existing buildings openings, the addition appears to be a completion rather that an addition. Clean lines with exterior balconies and trim further unite the two structures and the signage from the street level reminds passerby's where they are in a big way.
Project Manager/Designer: David Blaustein, Orlando Garcia
The first time you stand on the roof of this one hundred year old building with its skyline views of New York City, the Manhattan Bridge on one side, and a busy expressway on the other, you realize the potential of this site. The design for such a powerful location, which thousands of people come across daily, presented an exciting challenge. The strategy we adopted was to create a structure that no one can ignore. The leading concept was to sustain contextual elements on the site, and in contrast, to take these elements and embed them in innovative architecture. The Manhattan Bridge is the most visibly striking element of the site, running parallel to it only 20 feet away. For this reason, we designed an exposed steel truss system for the skeleton to intensify the dialogue between the structures. The design embodies a strong sense of dynamics. The structural axis is separated from the building exterior finish, providing a sense of movement, which is enhanced by the flying roof, sharp angles, and horizontal texture on the surface. In addition to its visual impact, the Scarano & Associates Architect's office addition serves as an instructional laboratory for structure and design. It illustrates over one hundred steel joint conditions, multiple curtain-wall applications of varying complexity, a variety of materials, and methods of intervention with historic structures. The entire staff is involved in the construction process from procurements to crane placement and site safety. All materials and systems are presented to the staff prior to installation and then applied in the field. It is the ultimate; hands-on' learn-design-build experience.