Project
Brooklyn YMCA | Core Studio II

This proposal for the new Williamsburg YMCA reimagines the traditional relationship between a building and a master plan, proposing a big building / deep plan project that operates on the changing relationships between the center and the periphery of the project. The manipulation of surfaces offer an alternative narrative of continuity and cohabitation between the Y and residential program. Here, the volume of the high-rise towers in BIG’s scheme is redistributed horizontally into a deep plan that shares its footprint with the YMCA. The project revised traditional adjacencies and standard interior-exterior relationships through folding and nesting of space, problems of the deep plan are confronted to provide an alternative to developers’ consistent response to the Brooklyn waterfront with a cluster of multiple towers-like volumes of revised proportions.

The wrinkle allows for a spectrum of oppositions that serve the spatial and organizational needs of the YMCA. Folding produces discrete moments that simultaneously remain part of a larger fabric. This conceptual framework works across scales in application as an urban strategy, a programming strategy, and as a formal strategy. Through addition and subtraction of form, moments of solid and void are obscured to generate pockets of interior permeability that allow the mass to remain light and open.

This project ultimately functions as a counter-proposal that seeks to reimagine the two constituencies of the YMCA and the residences coexisting in one, unique world.