Landmarks are a world of lore in New York City, each one with its own inherent set of beliefs, stories, and customs. In a town that seems to reinvent itself overnight, every night, New York landmarks represent the city’s hard-fought, cherished history. At 10 Jay Street, an ideal location flanked by the Manhattan Bridge and flush with waterfront views, integrating innovative design with the site’s landmark heritage was more than creative vision, it was a developmental demand. A formerly neglected area that has become a sought-after corridor, the waterfront offers a new kind of visibility inward and out.

In close partnership with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), ODA developed multiple concepts before finalizing a design that met LPC’s standards for heritage and its creative mission to change the way people see the city. This warehouse conversion resulted in a highly contemporary façade facing the East River. 10 Jay Street honors the relationship between neighborhood and waterfront by reflecting the muscular appeal of the Manhattan Bridge. A delicate balance of glass, steel, brick, and spandrels give the building gravitas without compromising industrial heritage. Originally two buildings with a shared, piecemeal interior façade that held no landmark heritage, ODA made this violation part of the narrative by creating a variation on the faceted look: a broken geode smooth on the outside and crystalline within. The layout, in turn, offers tremendous flexibility for office arrangement, each one with unique lighting options and oriented towards the newly faceted façade. In the lobby, octagonal brick columns are stitched together to underscore the old world, industrial sensibility.

As the conversation surrounding heritage and preservation grows in the architecture community, 10 Jay Street bucks conservative trends to challenge the way we view history. 10 Jay Street is a prime example of how cities around the world can recover and readapt buildings rather than create new ones. ODA dared New York City to challenge the way it sees its landmark buildings and, in doing so, created unique threads to link old with new, the industrial age with the digital era, distinction and synthesis.

Location: 10 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Client: Triangle Assets

Size: 179900 SF

Team: Eran Chen, P. Christian Bailey, Ryoko Okada, Mark Bearak, Carolina Moscoso, Kate Samuels, Yongchun Choi