The Warming Hut at Brooklyn Bridge Park is an adaptive reuse of an existing 7,200 sf two-story mechanical building located at the head of Pier 6. MTA renovated the existing headhouse into a Visitors Center for the park with an information area, public restrooms, and both indoor café and outdoor roof dining spaces.
An accessible ramp provides access to the roof, wrapping the existing concrete block building and becoming a new layered skin. The ramp is clad in reclaimed heavy timber longleaf pine from a building slated for demolition on site. The timbers are placed vertically with spaces between allowing for a striated quality of light to animate the ramp. The ramp unfurls in a spiral, mimicking the unfolding qualities of the landscape design throughout the park.
The existing concrete block skin is left intact and insertions into the skin are made with concrete block of a smaller size so that the old and the new coexist in a dialogue. While creating refined spaces for new public uses the design remains honest to the building and site’s industrial history.
The architecture creates an interwoven experience between the park and the built forms, through a series of unfolding spaces which reveal and gesture to the Brooklyn Bridge, the landforms, the water, the light, and the city beyond. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates are the landscape architects for the park.