96 will provide a warm, contemporary contrast and breathe new life into the predominantly light-industrial neighborhood.
Area: 7,000 SF
Located on a 20-foot-wide lot on 16th St. near the Prospect Avenue R subway stop, JMA’s new project promises to be a precedent-setting one. According to Jorge Mastropietro, AIA, “We tried to anticipate what the neighborhood would be like in five years, while attempting to respect the current neighborhood,” he says. From a design standpoint, Gowanus poses particular difficulty because its mix of light industrial and residential uses means there is no uniformly accepted style. From a development standpoint, the neighborhood offers a challenge because its emerging gentrification leaves some residents resistant to new projects. As Mastropietro explains, JMA sought to address these issues by “creating something unique, something visually appealing that will improve the urban context.”
The resulting design stands out because of its wood framing and extensive glazing but replicates the scale of the surrounding buildings by stepping back at the fifth floor. As project manager Clayton Feurer explains, “Any new building has to be related to its neighbors. The concept was to create a layered façade that provides depth to the street wall. The wood frame accentuates the three upper units while providing a warm contrast to the predominantly industrial neighborhood.” Ultimately, JMA believes that this project will serve as a precedent for architectural development in the area, setting a tone for further development that respects its surroundings and the desires of the real estate market.