Developer Youngwoo and Associates hired ORE to charrette (1 week-long design workshop) a design entry for the Empire Stores, Economic Development Corporation of New York City’s RFP.

Initial Exterior Concept Rendering: New Rooftop Venue Under Large CLT Gable

The Empire Stores were originally built in 1868 to serve as storage and packing warehouses for the US’ entire coffee supply.  The element of the existing Empire Stores Building that immediately stood out to us was the forest of 2 foot x 2 foot Douglas fir columns spaced at on a 10 foot grid.

Initial Interior Concept Rendering: New Rooftop Venue Under Large CLT Gable   

 

Our design’s main feature was to activate the roof as a large venue space.  We repeated the existing 2 foot x 2 foot lumber module of the base building and created 40 foot spanning structural arches made from cross laminated timber units.

Initial Exterior Concept Rendering: New Rooftop Venue Under Large CLT Gable

To bring daylight to the lower floors, we incorporated light pipes into the new structural piers.  Where columns created darkness in the original building, they now deliver sunlight.

Client: Youngwoo and Associates
Program: Adaptive Re-use / Creative Coworking / Brownfield Remediation
Area: 550,000 sf, Dumbo Brooklyn