Not to be completely outdone by Bjarke Ingels’ Via 57 West, Williamsburg is getting its own highway-fronting pyramidal pile. Alongside the bucolic banks of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the concrete frame of 500 Metropolitan Avenue has finally climbed above street level, now reaching its third floor. The uniquely massed 200,000-square-foot, mixed-use project ascends near the Metropolitan Avenue-Lorimer Street station of the G and L lines, and from a V-shaped lot that borders five streets: Metropolitan Avenue, Union, Keap, Ainslie and Rodney Streets. Its stepped, ziggurat-like form will soar 14 stories and 172 feet above the low-slung area, making it among the tallest structures in the ‘hood.
Design firm RAAD is no stranger to boundary-pushing projects (their founder James Ramsey is a co-creator of the Lowline underground park), and their latest endeavor may grant them bragging rights as the designers behind the city’s, perhaps even the world’s, largest urban farm.
Brownstoner spotted conceptual renderings (read: the developer has not filed permits nor have they confirmed they’ll move ahead with RAAD’s vision) for 930 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick, part of the Rheingold Brewery mega-development. The mixed-use project, officially known as 1 Bushwick, would offer commercial, retail, residential, hotel, cultural, and agricultural spaces. The aforementioned rooftop farm would be nearly 165,000 square feet; Brooklyn Grange, which is currently the world’s largest rooftop soil farm, occupies 108,000 square feet across two sites. A description of 1 Bushwick says: “Guests relaxing in the rooftop pool will be regaled by a rare experience: views of the skyscrapers of Manhattan — and cornfields.”
A challenge that every New York apartment dweller will face eventually is one of storage. This is a city of cozy, compact spaces, and although many of us are lacking the luxury of basements, walk-in closets, garages, etc., we usually make up for it in unique ways. (Hello, lofted apartment!) Raad studio creatively took up the challenge at a duplex in Noho, where storage is so prevalent and seamlessly integrated into the design, it demands a standing ovation from storage-starved New Yorkers everywhere.