Clarkson Avenue

Project Manager/Designer
Robert M. Scarano jr.
Completion Date
March 2006
Prospect Heights

This relatively flat site encompasses the majority of a 4-acre city block in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn. It is in the vicinity of Prospect Park and a large concentration of hospitals and medical facilities. It is also within a high density residential zone, from which it stands apart due to its current designation as a manufacturing district.

This large-scale housing project was approached on two levels: the first as an urban planning exercise and the second as an inventive design project for high-density, multi-family housing. It targets the possibilities of maintaining the residential nature of the area by adding approximately 300 housing units, thereby spurring commercial growth.

The design goal is to minimize the impact that the bulk of such a large development has on a community and to achieve a dynamic sense, as though the buildings are passing through the site rather that imposed onto it. This effect is enhanced through the use of extensive grassed roofs, which look more like a large, multi-level green park rather than built masses. The configuration of the buildings responds to a study of light and shadow and offers a healthy lifestyle alternative through an abundance of natural light and air.

The program includes 650,000 square feet contained within 11 levels. The key elements are three elongated, curved linear structures that interlock and rest upon a “green plinth” for the building’s base, (which also includes commercial and community space). In addition, 600 parking spaces are distributed over two sub-grade levels.