One John Street Entry

Through the process of melting and erosion, a simple set of ingredients produce a richly textured material.

Designed for the base of a residential building in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Alloy challenged us to create something otherworldly. Accepting the challenge, we worked through a series of iterative material samples, ultimately arriving at a casting technique which creates an even pattern and coloration across the field of panels while also allowing for each panel to have unique qualities.

We created 64 panels to clad both interior and exterior portions of the structural core of the building, covering 1,500 sq ft of wall surface in total. Along John Street, the 17-foot tall panels stand as a visual sounding board to the Brooklyn neighborhood. Within the lobby, the subtle texture and color variation add richness to the quiet environment. And while the panels seem static and almost prehistoric, they truly respond and reflect the environment as patches of white salt crystals form and fade, ever changing in response to the elements.

The panels were cast against layers of crinkled paper and acetate, and patches of beeswax and salt. After curing for a number of days the panels were moved to a custom oven table—developed by SITU—to artfully melt out the wax and extracting a majority of the salt from the face of the panels.

In addition to the concrete panels, we also designed and built One John Street’s reception desk. Taking inspiration from the rocky landscape that characterizes the Brooklyn waterfront in DUMBO, the desk itself is made of reclaimed rocks, hemmed in by a series of hand-made brass cages that operate how gabions do for retaining walls.

The delicacy of the lock-crimped brass balances the bulk and texture of the Belgian cobblestones it holds, creating harmony between raw natural elements and refined materials. Through this productive tension, the desk becomes a graceful yet sculptural object, welcoming residents and recalling the surrounding landscape of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Client

Alloy Development

Location

Brooklyn, NY

Scope

1,500 sq ft

Completion

2016

Photography

SITU

Collaborator

Oso Industries