209 3rd Avenue Brooklyn

Client: Ms Dolly Williams
New York City, NY | PROPOSED 2023

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. That title is a softball for sure, but this project intends to expand upon our research that we had begun on an earlier project that failed to materialize. In this most recent rezoning, where we intend to see the gold rush of developers arriving to replace transmission shops with cheap housing solutions as quickly as corner umbrella salesmen pop up hours before a rain, we asked our clients to consider a different path. Playing off of research the Principal discovered about the phenomena of ‘The Mother Tree’. Such a tree supports all the other trees [regardless of species] in her kingdom in a manner that approaches being sentient. [This is really reality altering stuff] we likened our project to such a role in this burgeoning neighborhood. We view this building as giving to the neighborhood with gestures both public and private. We see it as an opportunity to create, not only spaces for families to plant roots, but allowing the building to become a cultural hub for a community that will eventually be formed here. This will be housing with a socially based purpose. So what does this mean in practical terms? An arcaded market space at grade. A multistory garden is visible and available to the residents and public alike. Tenants like Kindergarten schools. Outdoor spaces on the building so there is a transitional connection between the residents and their place in the city. Rooftop shared spaces, and greenery. The hallways were looked upon as spaces that could foster immediate relationships among neighbors [and not expeditious pathways from the elevator to the apartment.] Found throughout the building it is much about architecture as about striking the right balance between urbanity and our tenuous relationship with nature, one sorely neglected in our age of scant resources. The building bears some design typology to being a tree. And our firm tried to come to terms with it acting ‘Tree Like’ versus ‘looking like a tree. We hope this sets the example for others but even as our neighbors might arise taller and denser than us, we still believe that ours will offer the more significant contribution to the future community well being.