The Brooklyn Navy Yard is certainly having a moment: It just hosted the Bernie-Hillary debate in its 35,000-square-foot Duggal Greenhouse event space, and Duke Riley is currently performing his surreal, aerial, pigeon-powered Fly By Night project there. The proposed Brooklyn–Queens Connector (BQX) streetcar would link the 300-acre site to multiple subway lines. The Yard will be the new home of the Brooklyn Brewery, MAST Brothers Chocolate Makers, and now WeWork, the last of which will anchor a 16-story, 675,000-square-foot office building designed by New York-based S9 Architecture.
Dubbed Dock 72, the building will be located along the water on the western side of the Yard. Rudin Development and Boston Properties are the developers behind the $380 million project, which the city government hopes will support technology and creative industries. “This project is going to help bring ideas, innovators, and start-ups to the Yard, where they can scale up their businesses, hire more New Yorkers, and manufacture their products right here in Brooklyn,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement.
WeWork, which will occupy 220,000 square feet of the building, tapped S9 Architecture for the project back in 2013. S9 founding partner Navid Maqami said the site shaped Dock 72’s design in many ways: The land is not only narrow, bordered on three sides by water, but it’s also flood-prone. Consequently, V-shaped columns lift the building’s offices out of danger. The ground floor won’t be empty, however, it will house lounges, dining facilities, and a fitness center on the mezzanine level. On the upper floors, a series of open terraces take advantage of the site’s sweeping views of Manhattan and will serve as communal areas. The Dock 72 roof will feature conference facilities as well.
Those terraces are complemented by a series of connected social spaces within the building. “We carved out these common areas that could be linked on multiple stories,” two or three at a time, via stairs, said Maqami. He explained that these shared areas aim to replicate the communal energy he found when he visited a WeWork coworking office. “It’s not about going to your cubicle or private office, getting it done, then going home,” Maqami said.
S9 calls these multilevel social spaces the “ant farm,” and appropriately, the spaces will be revealed to the outside thanks to the building’s glazing. S9 riffed on the surrounding loft buildings’ facades, massing, and materiality to create a gridded exterior. The building’s facade also echoes the concrete gray and rust and brick red found in the Navy Yard. WeWork and the individual clients will design their own interiors. Fogarty Finger will design the ground-floor interior and some of the building’s amenities, which include “a first floor lobby, coffee bar and lounge, first floor market for specialty foods and beverage service, second floor juice bar/lounge, fitness center, wellness classrooms and spa, and 16th floor conference center and lounge,” said Fogarty Finger in an email to AN. Dock 72 will be complete in two years.