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One big tower split into two

The OMA-designed Greenpoint Landing Towers in northern Brooklyn recently topped out. Photos and announcement over here. If you aren’t familiar with the project, it’s very OMA. What I mean by that is that there’s a kind of simple rationality to it. (I just made up this architecture speak.) Big bold moves with a certain logic behind it. Here’s the story and thinking behind Greenpoint Landing:

Supposedly this project is in a part of Brooklyn that stipulates a maximum tower floor plate size of 11,000 square feet. Following this rule, you get a two-tower design that looks something like image number one in the top left hand corner of the above diagram. The resulting tower separation would be 40 feet, or just over 12 meters. (Are you seeing these numbers, Toronto?)

What OMA did was taper one tower (diagram image #2) and then create an inverted ziggurat form for the second tower (diagram image #3). The effect is two towers that look like they were almost one giant tower that had been simply pulled apart. The resulting tower separation distance in this final scenario is 60 feet, or just over 18 meters.

I am assuming that there’s some area loss in this design because of the increased tower separation, though maybe the larger podium makes it up. Either way, from what I can tell, there are two main benefits to this design: (1) you get a tower with stepbacks facing the water (so places for outdoor spaces) and (2) it breaks up the visual monotony of two equally extruded towers.

If any of you are more familiar with this project, I would welcome your thoughts in the comment section below.

Image: OMA

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