The Warming Hut at Brooklyn Bridge Park is a complete renovation and re-programming of an existing 7200sf two-story mechanical building located at the head of Pier 6. This entry point to the park will act as an information center and café. The second story is being removed and that space will be transformed into an observation roof terrace with views of the length of the 1.3 mile park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the New York skyline.
A handicapped ramp wraps the existing concrete block building becoming a new layered skin which provides access to a roof observation deck. The ramp is clad in heavy timber longleaf yellow pine, repurposed from an existing building slated for demolition within the Park. The 3' by 12' timbers are placed vertically, the spaces between allow a rhythmic and striated quality of light to play through the skin, animating the ramp floor as one ascends and descands. The access to the observation deck unfurls in a spiral, mimicing the unfolding qualities of the landscape design throughout the park.
The existing concrete block skin is left intact, insertions into the skin are made with concrete block of a smaller size so that the old and the new coexist in a dialogue. The interiors of the café space are left honest to the use of the building as an industrial struecture.
The underlying theme governing the design is that the architecture creates an interwoven experience between the park and the built forms, through a series of diaphanous unfolding spaces which reveal, gesture to, and act as a counterpoint to the bridge, the landforms, the water, the light, and the city beyond.
Maryann Thompson Architects, as a member of the Michael Van Valkenburg Associates team, is the Architect for this structure in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Construction will be complete in summer 2012.

Photo Credits:

Chuck Choi Architectural Photography