In Bushwick, Brooklyn, on the site of the former Rheingold Brewery, New York-based ODA has designed a mammoth apartment building that takes up an entire city block, totaling nearly 500,000 square feet. The seven-story, 500-unit building features two staggered volumes in which a core of dark gray corrugated metal seems to rise up out of a lighter gray shell, with the apartment units arranged around two internal courtyards.

One of the complex’s defining elements is its ombré-hued grid of recessed windows and balconies. This cascading arrangement of color and form gives the facade a level of depth and texture while reducing the building’s vertical presence at the street level and allowing more light to reach the interior courtyards. “Due to the repetitiveness of the grid, we eroded it to create this form, adding and subtracting areas,” said Francesco Asaro, project manager at ODA. The interlocking patterns are also subtle nods to the imperfections of the site since some corners don’t meet at 90-degree angles.

Photo of an internal courtyard faced with balconies

The Rheingold’s open courtyard provides ample light and air to the interior-facing residents. (Pavel Bendov)

Three window and door systems from Reynaers Aluminum are used in the project. For the residential windows and balconies, the custom-extruded aluminum frames of Reynaers’s SlimLine 38 system were fitted with 1-1/16 insulated glass by manufacturer Blue Star Glass and selected in four hues that ranged from red to yellow and arranged in an interlocking pattern. The Reynaers window system meets the sound transmission requirements for the area and was preferred by the project’s window installers, said Asaro. Since nearly every unit has a balcony, it was also important for the window system to be well-insulated and energy-efficient. The SL 38 is engineered with contiguous mullions to be able to hold multiple panes of glass within a single frame and tilts open for easy maintenance.

The Rheingold boasts numerous amenities, including 70,000 square feet of outdoor space, art studios, a darkroom, and a theater. The amenity spaces of the building feature a fixed-glass Reynaers Concept System 77 (CS 77) of windows and doors framed in a gray hue, while the storefront windows and facades in the building’s commercial spaces relied on the heavier-duty Concept Wall 50 (CW 50) system, which can hold up to 1,500 pounds of glass panes.

Location: Brooklyn, NY
Architect: ODA
Interior designer: Durukan Design
Landscape architect: Gunn Landscape Architecture
Facade consultants: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.
Structural engineer: Titan Engineers PC
MEP engineer: MG Engineering D.P.C.
Geotechnical engineer: URS Corporation (now AECOM)
Windows and doors: Reynaers Aluminum
Glass manufacturer: Blue Star Glass
Composite facade panels: Petrarch Panels
Corrugated metal facade panels: United Panel Technologies

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