One John Street is a design for a new residence on the East River waterfront in Brooklyn, New York. The design extends the existing landscape of Brooklyn Bridge Park north past the Manhattan Bridge and integrates the building into the park's landscape design.
The memory of the former slips and wharves of the waterfront, as well as the atmospheric elements of the river, together inspired the design for One John. Its form is contemporary and forward-thinking, a weightless moment among the adjacent historic district’s industrial masonry architecture. Wood accents the building’s base, evoking the waterfront’s timbered piers, while the fritted, asymmetrical glass façade of the residential floors above dissipates into the morning mist. The design for One John is inextricable from its plan, and the relationship it creates with the landscape of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The majority of the residential tower is lifted 25 feet into the air, held aloft by a wood base that commences with a platform 5 feet above grade.
While the platform elevation provides essential flood protection, it and the elevation of the glass tower also afford key opportunities to enhance the public realm surrounding One John. The Park-facing portion of the platform extends under the elevated tower, and is publicly accessible.
The platform acts as an extension of the Park rather than a wall at its perimeter, stretching out from the berm design of the landscape plan. Tiered seating along the berm leads up and into the building. The result is an increase in the area of publicly accessible landscape and a smooth transition between the public and private realms.
Lifting the platform slightly higher toward John Street allows for street level retail at the sidewalk’s edge. Intertwining the retail space with ramps for pedestrian access enhances the urban experience and blurs the line between street, retail and Park. As part of the ground level experience, a water sensitive LED screen or other community-interactive art project will further enliven the façade.
Early handsketch and diagrams highlight the views from the building site.
The design of the landscape ties the new development into Brooklyn Bridge park and creates a connection between the public spaces on the ground floor of the building and the waterfront.
A total of 53 residential units comprising 100,865 net square feet make up the majority of this space. The residential program caters to families, with almost half of the units containing three or four bedrooms – targeting the market most prevalent in the converted buildings, but with the advantage of the efficient layouts possible within new construction.