Software & Design

This Super-Futuristic Skyscraper For Brooklyn Will Probably Never Get Built

An awesome-looking 73-storey tower planned for downtown Brooklyn could add hundreds of apartments to a city that desperately needs more housing. Too bad the proposal will likely be denied.

The concept for the supertall, which is designed by SHoP Architects, was first reported by New York Yimby back in November, followed by the first waves of grief and denial from Brooklynites. But a story by Matt Chaban in today’s New York Times says plans have now been submitted for the structure which moves this project from proposed to plausible.

In addition to shops and retail at street level, the building’s design includes 500 rental apartments with 20 per cent of the units offered at affordable rates. Sounds like a good thing in a borough where people are renting co-living spaces with strangers just to stay in the neighbourhood, right? Plus SHoP is the firm of well-respected architects behind other skinny, pretty towers. If anyone should build the jewel in Brooklyn’s architectural crown, it’s them.

So what might keep this building down? The zoning doesn’t carry any height restrictions here, but the fact that the tower is hoping to incorporate parts of a landmarked 1908 bank building on its bottom floor might cause trouble. I could see a group of preservationists trying to “save” the bank to stop the tower. Plus, some people just don’t like tall buildings, and this one is almost twice the height of anything around it. While 73 stories is pretty standard for parts of Midtown Manhattan, those who disapprove of the massive pillar of steel and glass will say it sticks out in Brooklyn like a middle finger.

While I’d love to see this building go up as a symbol that Brooklyn is as progressive as that little island across the East River, I think it’s unlikely it will achieve its full 325m height. However, if it does go that high, it would make it among the tallest buildings in the US. As we know, these things do have a tendency to change.

Image by SHoP Architects


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