Brooklynites can now experience a bit of the Seine without ever leaving the city thanks to New York-based Goldstein Hill West Architects' new 2-block residential project, which some are calling "Paris on the Gowanus". The developers of the complex are hoping that the 700 luxury apartments at 365 Bond and the upcoming 363 Bond will attract tenants with its strong emphasis on architecture, art, and sustainability, but critics of the project call out the canal's still polluted waters and flooding concerns.
Located on the left bank of the Gowanus Canal, the two buildings stand alone but share a similar palate of materials in order to bring a cohesive look to the project. The weathered brick exterior mixed with raw concrete and industrial-style windows are meant to pay homage to the neighborhood’s industrial history. According to the project’s lead designer and architect, GHWA’s David West, “The site is located at the divide between Carroll Gardens, with its iconic brick and stone town homes and Gowanus, a former industrial area. The architecture melds the varied scales and palettes of the surrounding context into a uniquely New York composition.”
The complex, developed by Lightstone, was designed to bring a strong sense of community to the growing area by creating multiple community spaces and shared amenities within the space. Brooklyn-based landscape architect Lee Weintraub designed the verdant public esplanade adjacent to the building.
The entire complex includes a host of sustainability features such as green roofs and storm water filtration and separation systems. Additionally, as the buildings are just mere steps away from the Gowanus Canal, they were built on higher ground than post-Sandy floodplain levels to help protect the building from future flooding and rising water levels.
Even with all of its eco-considerations, constructing 365 Bond on the heavily contaminated Gowanus Canal has stirred up its share of controversy, and some believe that the waterway is not yet ready to be portrayed as a scenic and safe amenity. Because years of industrial use has left the canal full of life-threatening contaminants, new housing projects are technically forbidden under current zoning restrictions. However, according to DNAinfo, Lightstone worked to clean up the project site pursuant to the NY Brownfield Cleanup Program, which offers property developers incentives to clean polluted lands in able to build on them. NY State certified the cleanup work in 2015, and the site was cleared for construction, but residents should still remain aware of the canal’s polluted waters — you definitely won’t want to be doing any leg-dangling or swimming any time soon.
Renderings by Kim Wendell Design via Goldstein Hill West Architects