Project DescriptionIndustry City’s “Vanishing Point” is a 33,000 sf courtyard designed to capture the scale and views within the 55’ wide by 600’ long post-industrial space. Enclosed on three sides by 6-story buildings, the west end of the courtyard is open toward the Gowanus Bay, where you can catch sunset views and a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.
The building tenants consist of retail, design, and manufacturing companies; with many local start-ups and small businesses. Overall, there are ten buildings in the immediate complex with four seemingly identical courtyards. The buildings and courtyards are linked by “Innovation Alley,” a central pedestrian spine. The courtyard is a destination that offers respite for workers, customers, and the public.
The design concept forces the perspective towards “Innovation Alley,” so that when visitors arrive at the courtyard from the entrance along 2nd Avenue, the planter walls pull your eye towards the raised intersection at the center of “Innovation Alley” and the courtyard. The same play occurs from the east end of the courtyard, where the planting design and trees pull toward this center in a mirrored perspective.
The project budget called for the use of inexpensive materials intended for a 5-7 year lifespan. The schedule of the project from concept to construction was condensed into just 10 months. The materials were also chosen based on the post-industrial context. The softness of the ferns and fine
texture of the planting palette were chosen to contrast with it. To complement the large mass and immensity of the overall space, the plantings are laid out in large directional swaths, and the palette consists of monotone greens. The form of the columnar maple trees was selected to play off of the repetition of the building columns as well as the industrial smoke stacks and ventilation pipe remnants. The tree species was chosen for the beautiful red fall color that complements the weathering steel forms in the courtyard.