Adaptive Reuse

The Toy Factory Lofts

Project Manager/Designer: Eugene Drubestskoy

Completion Date: April 2004

Location: Metrotech


176 Johnson Street is an 8 story, 64,000 square foot industrial building, which was converted into a 56-family residential condominium. It is one of the first factory buildings in the downtown Brooklyn area that was rezoned by the Board of Standards and Appeals as part of a new master plan for the Brooklyn downtown redevelopment. In an attempt to preserve the continuous feeling of the currently uninterrupted 8300 square foot floors, with their large windows and elegant flared columns, and, in addition, in trying to avoid long corridors lined with doors, a layout was developed in which the columns are accentuated, acting as dramatic buffers between the public hall and intimate entranceways into apartments, broken off diagonally from hallway circulation. Full-height views around the columns enhance the dynamic sense of these entrance ways, while the main corridor ceiling is lowered to accommodate the tightly designed, highly efficient, mechanical core. Bathrooms and kitchens are also organized around a tight core, effectively reducing plumbing and mechanical costs and creating a continuous open main space that is rich with natural light and air. The apartments, ranging between 800 - 1,200 square feet, are flexible in their layout so that they can easily be converted into one, and even two bedroom apartments though sold as open lofts. This building combines all the luxuries of fine city living, with private parking and storage rooms in the cellar accessed by a newly constructed ramp, and a commercial first floor, including a gym and other retail spaces. With the up and coming development initiatives in this neighborhood, The Toy Factory Lofts development stands out as one of the most successful residential ventures in the area.

Rocket Factory

Project Manager/Designer: Tamar Kisilevitz

Completion Date: February 2004

Location: Williamsburg


This project is a loft conversion of what was previously a factory building, located near the East River front in trendy Williamsburg. Our design for 75 artist lofts is an attempt to think outside the square 'loft-box' building, with its typical long corridors lined with doors. Our design was developed with a focus on minimizing public corridors. Two central hexagons consolidate the apartment entrances at opposite ends of the corridor, and a central hexagon provides an intersection between those and the elevator, stairs and public services. These intermediate areas echo the form of the hexagonal columns on most floors. The lofts were laid out to create a tight core of kitchens and bathrooms, leaving a perimeter of large open spaces, which are open to views, light and air, and yet are sub-dividable if needed. This, in turn, consolidated the mechanical and plumbing shafts, reducing the cost of construction significantly. A new elevator was installed, which terminates at a "sky lobby" on the landscaped and decked roof, taking full advantage of 360-degree views of New York City.