The historic buildings of South Williamsburg are about to be interrupted with an ultra modern tower. Designed for a competition to build a hotel next to the Williamsburg Bridge, Oppenheim Architecture + Design’s winning entry is a glittering three tiered tower. Oppenheim designed the Williamsburg Hotel to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
Each vertical layer of the 440 foot tower is meant to echo one element of the neighborhood. The shortest portion blends with the architecture of the area, the second is matched with the dome of the nearby bank, and the tallest emulates the Williamsburg Bridge. Each lower level is capped with a richly planted green roof, providing insulation and rainwater collection.
The hotel’s glass façade is reinforced with diagonal steel, creating a shimmering diamond-like pattern which continues through the three colored layers. Oppenheim plans to use renewable energy to help power the hotel. Solar panels will be installed on the roof, as well as wind turbines, and a geothermic pump will be used to help heat the interior with green energy.
The Williamsburg Hotel will be the tallest building in the neighborhood, overshadowing the adjacent buildings by more than 20 stories. The hotel will sit next to the historic gold-domed Williamsburgh Savings Bank. The Bank is also currently being developed into a hotel and venue site, but the historic architecture will be preserved, as the circa 1870s-era building is landmarked.
The other glass high rises that have been erected along Williamsburg’s waterfront have been met with mixed reviews. If built, Oppenheim’s Williamsburg Hotel will likely be met with the same skepticism, as the first inland tower in the historic South Williamsburg area.