Gallery: Yard-Scraper Seeks to Change the Face of Brooklyn Sustainably


Brooklyn is well known for its magnificent brownstones and tree lined streets, and compared to its Manhattan counterpart, it tends to stick with lower-height buildings. But a group of architects see something very different for this borough’s future. Designed by Rogers Marvel Architects, the Brooklyn Yard-Scraper is a new mixed-use, super-sustainable redevelopment proposal set on replacing the Brooklyn Detention House and changing the urban landscape by building upwards. But as ostentatious as it may appear to be at first glance, the proposal is actually an excellent example of how city-owned space, that has since lost all relevant social and contextual value, can be re-imagined into a sustainable new project ready to breathe a new-life and perspective into its surroundings.

The new structure would be built in downtown Brooklyn, an area currently undergoing incredible urban renewal in the form of numerous new residential and commercial-office buildings. But scaling back on urban sprawl, the new Yard-Scraper will take on a completely vertical form, which arguably also happens to be the most efficient mode for building. By reducing the overall footprint and building upwards, the Yard-Scraper will more effectively utilize both space and on-site resources, serving a larger majority of the population than could have otherwise been served.

The lower floors of the new Yard-Scraper will comprise areas for social, commercial and educational activities, and each of these will have direct access to an open or closed green space. The upper floors will house what could be considered as Brooklyn’s nouveau brownstones, in addition to a number of other flats. Not tied to the planar grid of the streets, each unit will be stacked one upon another and oriented in such a way to maximize airflow and interior light distribution, reducing the dependency on energy hungry mechanical systems. Certain areas of the facade will also be clad in solar voltaic panels, and the building will host a green house center, a vertical farm, numerous garden terraces, the Institute for Urban Sustainability, the Brooklyn Library of Science and Environment and much more.

+ Rogers Marvel Architects

Via Evolo


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  1. Johnny Hook August 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Is this some sort of joke? I’ve seen some
    architects before who grew so building-centric
    that they lost all sight of the big picture.. but
    this is ridiculous. Who would live in that thing?
    Look, ‘going green’ with
    ‘super-sustainable’ (but crazy-looking) structures
    is never going to be the answer for a place like
    Brooklyn. A lot of people hate eco-style.
    Brooklyners in general don’t want skyscrapers.
    Brooklyners do want to retain tradition and
    community. They don’t want colossal alien insect hives in
    their midst. My God.

  2. Ohoud August 15, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Well, this is not the first trial of \\\\\\\”vertical urbanism\\\\\\\”, but I must say it is mixing too many architectural skins, and the composition seems to be done on two stages: the lower part and the upper part which have two different languages…

    Is that bad?

    Personally, it needs some reorganization, the parts look as if they were better designed than the overall structure.

    Just an opinion!

    Ohoud K

    p.s: the upper part does not negate the project being a good initiative. Would be interesting seeing what impact it will have on the surrounding uses…

  3. dpfels August 13, 2010 at 10:57 am

    This is great, and much nicer than the House of Detention that currently occupies the space on Atlantic Ave. However, a piece in this week\’s NY Times announced that they were putting the House of Detention back in use after 7 years:

    Not clear how this plan would work in light of that news.

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