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Meet the towers vying for a spot in Brooklyn Bridge Park

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The two buildings in one of these 14 eye-popping renderings could be become real towers looming over Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6. The park unveiled the mock-ups on Wednesday.

Vertical gardens, barely-there walls, and retractable window coverings are just a few of the high-end features touted by the elaborate mock-ups vying to rise at Pier 6, which the park’s board released without developer names attached. Many of the renderings made the park that serves as Brooklyn’s front yard their centerpiece, with nine of the 14 promotional packets featuring dogs as a nod to the nearby dog run and seven showing cyclists plying the park’s bike path. Some took the flourishes even further, peppering their mock-ups with babies, balloons, and bubbles. Some of the contenders are seeking out the cycling set, offering bike storage rooms but no car parking, others are auto-centric, offering only car parking, and still others hug the middle, saying they’ll provide both.

The mock-ups came out hours before the board voted down a proposal to conduct a new formal study of development in the park, which activists and politicians have been calling for. In addition to concealing the developer names, the board refused to provide the details of the proposals.

As for the proposed buildings, all are similarly sized, purportedly adhering to the park board’s requirement that the one of the two structures be no more than 315 feet tall and include 290 residential units while the other should be capped at 155 feet and 140 apartments. But the similarities end there. Here is a rundown of the wild, sometimes wacky designs on display.

Cloud City

Architects

Alloy Design and Bjarke Ingels Group

The gist

The front building appears to be so transparent that it melts into the sky, but the one in the rear is a stately affair with white, concrete-looking piping that recalls a 1970s government building in a mid-sized Southern city. The piping spreads apart at the ground floor like the former World Trade Center’s did. There a glass-walled room features a pool. The two are also a green thumb’s dream, according to the designs, which show window planters on the lower floors of the riverside high-rise and a garden atop the back building complete with chickens and an overalls-wearing farmer. No word on if the livestock — or the help — is included the price of a condo.

Surface

Front building: Lots of glass with horizontal bands that get skinnier as they go up, until the building basically disappears.

Back building: Less glass. More municipal government architecture.

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

Yes

Type of parking

There appears to be car parking below the tall, narrow building.

Mind the Gap

Architects

Asymptote Architecture

The gist

Each of these blue-tinged towers has sections of floors cut out, apparently for use as terraces, and is crowned with a glass enclosure.

Surface

Glass and white metal with tan and spearmint accents

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

Yes

Type of parking

Bike and car

Golden Towers

Architects

BKSK and Aufgang

The gist

These buildings look like computer towers spray-painted gold and silver, but only at dusk, according to one mock-up. In the others they’re silver, black, and blue, the others show.

Surface

A molten effect appears on two sides of the taller tower. Otherwise, spiny ridges and office-park details dominate.

Dog in rendering

No

Bike in rendering

No

Type of parking

Car

Blue Crush

Architects

Davis Brody Bond

The gist

Beveled surfaces and oddly angled interiors make these sea-blue numbers brain-teasers. The smaller building has a shade structure on the roof that could cover a deck.

Surface

There is lots of glass. Periodic angled-in windows create space for planters and balconies.

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

Yes

Type of parking

Bike

The Hive

Architects

Future Expansion and SBN Architects

The gist

This is a neat geometric exercise that could give residents the sense they are human insects toiling in a near-future sci-fi universe where home looks like Windows 95 screen savers made solid, everyone wears a computer in front of one eye, and the rent for a two-bedroom is $10,000 (we have no insight into what the rents in these buildings might be).

Surface

Honeycomb, but square and for people to live inside

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

No

Type of parking

Bike

Brooklyn Ridge Park

Architects

FXFOWLE Architects

The gist

From a distance, these two appear to be a middle-of-the-road metal-and-glass numbers, but get up close and you will find these things are made up of a series of concave curves that form daring ridges when they meet, as if to say to prospective tenants, “We’re buttoned-up but edgy. What are you doing later?”

The top of the taller one sports a three level terrace and each has a crown of indeterminate function. The rear building comes packing ground-floor retail.

Surface

Slightly more metal than glass

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

No

Type of parking

Car

Miami Nice

Architects

H3 Hardy Collaboration

The gist

A conservative design that doesn’t feature any odd shapes or unexpected protrusions but does come rendered as if someone painted it in watercolor, then scanned it on his elderly aunt’s flatbed scanner.

Surface

White detailing and, on the sides facing the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a soothing, throwback Pepto-Bismol pink.

Dog in rendering

No

Bike in rendering

No

Type of parking

Car

Peek-a-boo Gardens

Architects

Marvel Architects

The gist

These look like a pair of paused Tetris games, thanks on the tall tower to a system of retractable screens, apparently meant to block the glare of that million-dollar view. And as if these houses were not hot enough, the shorter structure holds a greenhouse and outdoor garden on its roof. The big one also has some foliage up top.

Surface

Metal, glass, and whatever that sturdy, anti-glare film screen is made of. The shorter tower doesn’t have the whiz-bang screens, but its balconies and big windows at odd intervals give it a similarly disheveled look.

Dog in rendering

No

Bike in rendering

No

Type of parking

Bike and car

The Mainframe

Architects

Morris Adjmi Architects

The gist

Another couple of computer towers, only with lots of glass. The little one boasts a roof deck and the big one has some old-school water-towers on top.

Surface

Shear and boxy

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

No

Type of parking

Bike

Jenga, Jenga Very Much

Architects

NV/DA and O’Neill McVoy Architects

The gist

The taller building is a half-played game of Jenga. Residents in the higher floors had better not be afraid of heights because gaps every few stories serve as spacious balconies, apparently without railings. The waterfront one also includes a rooftop bar and an underground spa. The smaller building is a smooth rectangle except for two seams cut out of the middle.

Surface

Smooth and mostly clear

Dog in rendering

No

Bike in rendering

No

Type of parking

Car

Winds Terrace

Architects

Pelli Clarke Pelli

The gist

Terraces take up the gaps between the blocks that make up the two buildings. The loftier one is comprised of four blocks, and the stubbier one incorporates two.

Surface

Black ribbing adds a little texture to the blocks.

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

Yes

Type of parking

Both

A Touch of Green

Architects

S9 Architecture (Perkins Eastman)

The gist

Hanging ivy adds verdant accents to these variegated boxes.

Surface

Black and wood-colored ribs break up the windows at staggered intervals.

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

Yes

Type of parking

Unclear

The Split Decision

Architects

Selldorf Architects

The gist

Either the design team couldn’t decide on a facade or they wanted the lower floors to say “mid-rise neighborhood” while the upper ones whispered “sky.” The result is two skyscrapers that say “skyscrapers in varying stages of undress.” Both buildings cut in at the ground floor, giving them each a narrow base like a tree trunk that has been gnawed on by a beaver. The larger building includes four classrooms on the ground floor.

Surface

The bottom of each is a solid tan with small windows while the tops are all glass with ribs sticking out.

Dog in rendering

Yes

Bike in rendering

Yes

Type of parking

Car

Green Machine

Architects

WASA Studio A

The gist

No word on the sustainability specs, but this leaf-draped complex certainly looks lusher than its counterparts. The heaps of ivy hanging from the taller tower obscure a Soviet-bloc-on-acid array of cubes, and both boxes have rooftop green space and chunks cut out on corners, which seem to be all the rage these days.

Surface

Like a Pac-Man board come to life.

Dog in rendering

No

Bike in rendering

Yes

Type of parking

None

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ian from Williamsburg says:
There are some surprisingly attractive and creative designs here. Would love to see some get built, but the chorus of those against everything will either try to turn one of the choicest housing sites in Brooklyn into affordable housing or just try and tear apart the plan altogether. This entire development has been a major quality of life change for the neighborhood. Great job to Bloomberg for a plan that allows this amazing amenity to partially self fund through this commercial development.
Aug. 9, 2014, 8:07 am
Ian from Williamsburg says:
Well... So much for housing independently funding the park because it now appears the housing will require the subsidies. De Blasio forcing subsidized housing into one of the most expensive locations in the boroug is idiotic and runs against the original plan of funding the park with limited market rate development. Will be a great lottery win for the select few that get subsidized housing in this location.
Aug. 9, 2014, 7:29 pm
Need ma space. from Fort greene, says:
I just hope beyond hope that there will be many people of color in these new units. This is an all white area , Why ? Please lets build to suit , not suit to build .
Aug. 9, 2014, 10:12 pm

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