Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Green Wood Heights: Resistance is Futile

"This residential project is located in Park Slope, a traditional neighborhood of Brooklyn where due to zoning regulations the surrounding buildings remain low rise townhouses. In order for new architecture to coexist with traditional buildings, a relation of amicable contradiction must be established where one complements the other. Big alternate window openings with translucent glass channel surfaces counteract with the traditional small windows of the adjacent buildings. Light is thus introduced to the interior spaces with different qualities and textures, The black brick used in the facade also generates contrast with the adjacent buildings adding variety to the urban streetscape."
-G Ateliers Architecture: Orlando Garcia (Design Architect), Hernan Galvis (Design Architect), Juan David Botero (Project Architect), Luis Echeverri (Project Architect)

"amicable contradiction"

This infill building site, 668 6th Avenue, is positioned one building away from the corner of busy 20th Street just a block below the historic Green Wood Cemetery in the neighborhood known as Greenwood Heights. The lot has been vacant for years, but according to DoB records an eight family residential apartment building existed in this space. Most likely it looked something similar to the two that now stand to the right and the left, four story wood and brick framed. Locals will know that corner as the one time home of Kitchen Bar and Bar B Que.

The surrounding architecture is eclectic. Modest, one hundred year old wood frame houses of all shapes and sizes, some free standing, sit next to multifamily brick walk-ups, and more recently, newly constructed "luxury" condominiums of varying styles, sizes, and quality. This area is no stranger to quality of life violations that surround new construction. Many of the older homes sit on 25 foot wide lots that are perfect tear-down targets for speculative, pushing-the-zoning-envelope type of development. Bricolodged's 266 22nd Street comes to my mind right away.

This area is mostly zoned R6B.

On this part of 6th Avenue, zoning allows for a maximum street front height of forty feet. With the proper set-backs, the maximum buildable height is said to be fifty feet, but with various bulkheads and equipment rooms stuck on top the as-built height usually tops sixty or more feet.

Hernan Galvis and the team at G Ateliers Architecture stylistically like making solid black monolithic structures with lots of big glass windows that move alternately in and then back out, away from the front plane of the building. You can see examples of their other NYC work here on their web site.

This newly permitted building looks to be using all 50 feet up front with none of the usual visual set backs. Instead they are claiming that the top floor is accessory attic space for the fourth floor unit. Is this just another adaptation of the dreaded Scarano-branded mezzanine? Concerned citizens want to know.


Miss Heather said...

I have a term for buildings of this ilk: Darthitecture. As in the Lord of Sith. I really wish the hacks churning out this crap would get over the idea that black instantly confers good taste.

Basic black is good for fashion but when used (and abused) by schlockitects--- in excess--- in Brooklyn it's just plain depressing.

michael said...

looks great. much better than their project on 5th.

home improvement - wood flooring said...

Nice post "Green Wood Heights: Resistance is Futile" thanks for such posting.