420 Kent’s design strays from the classic commercial extrusion consumed by today’s typical residential towers. The vast majority of rectangularly extruded towers in NYC are formal results of many historical, contextual and practical influences. For years, the archetypal -curtain wall- towers were realms of massive corporations, and as population density in New York increased, our habitats naturally adopted a similar two dimensional shape. The big box concept created an inherent hierarchy with the four corners being most desirable: corner apartment, corner office, corner view etc. We challenge this hierarchy by designing a tower where most dwelling units are a corner apartment. Furthermore, this formal condition articulates architecture’s effect on creating dynamic skylines with 420 Kent’s towers and voids engaged in a conversation between figure and ground.
Comprised of three multi-family residential towers, 420 Kent sits on a total of 250,000 square feet on the water’s edge in DUMBO. The first of the three towers, 416 Kent questions the typical residential building in New York while incorporating light, green space and community amenity offerings. The lobby welcomes tenants home into an extravagant Corten steel covered gateway from the cityscape to the riverfront.
The 22-floor towers comprised of 857 apartment units (20% of which will be affordable housing). By using two standard floor plans and mirroring them around the central axis we create three distinct towers featuring multi-dimensional façades while 80% of the total count of apartments will be in a corner condition. Adding this third dimension to the envelope will provide a platform for intimate moments of interaction, both indoors and out. Units will boast northern sightlines onto the Williamsburg Bridge, the East River, and eastern vistas of downtown Manhattan. Kent’s promenade will add to the communal boardwalk stretching from Greenpoint all the way to Dumbo. A total of 77,000 SF of outdoor space will be available to residents.
Amenities, including the outdoor space, provide residents with a sense of community and togetherness often overlooked in city dwellings. 420 Kent offers amenities such as a pool, two lounges and a kitchen. The crisp serenity of the white and aqua pool is a welcomed contrast to the muscular bridge framing the recreational space. Because of the pool’s alignment in the elbow of the East River, residents and their guests are perfectly aligned to see the Financial District and Statue of Liberty to the south and the length of Manhattan growing to the north.
The first lounge features a monochromatic color palette as a continuation of the exterior landscape. From this perspective, the East River, Manhattan skyline, and Williamsburg Bridge become part of the residential experience, visual extensions of the sleek interior. The transition from this lounge to the adjoining terrace is equally seamless, and further dismantles the separation between inside and out.
An additional lounge offers warmth with expansive views, natural lighting, and organic textures—defies the glass tower perceptions one may have when seeing the building from a distance. Above, laser-cut metal in a custom triangulated gradient screens overhead lighting and replicates the angles of the Williamsburg Bridge seen beyond.
The pool, crisp and serene, is a welcomed contrast to the muscular bridge framing the recreational space. Because of the pool’s alignment in the elbow of the East River, residents and their guests are perfectly aligned to see the Financial District and Statue of Liberty to the south and the length of Manhattan growing to the north.
International Residential Architecture Awards 2019
Special Mention – Category: Housing Multi- Family
Architect: Eran Chen
Firm: ODA Architecture
Project Location: Brooklyn
Team: Eran Chen, P. Christian Bailey, Ryoko Okada, Olivera Grk, Sunggu Lee, Bernhard Stocker, Kris Levine, Dongyoung Kim, Zachary Zeller, Woody Wu, Jean Baptiste Berteloot, Christopher Payan, Charmee Donga, So Jin Park, Roman Falcon, Soo Bum You, Elizabeth Snow, Piotr Lewicki, Brona Waldron, June Kim, Ninoshka Rachel Henriques, Mingchao Wan, Caroline Remignon, Chia-Min Wang, Matthew Wasnewsky, Sudarshan Venkatraman, Steven Kocher, Sejung Kim, Emma Pfeiffer, Jaehong Chung
Country: United States