Historic Domino Sugar Factory Redevelopment Sees Major Update, Williamsburg

Domino Plant Rendering, via PAUDomino Plant Rendering, via PAU

Two Trees’ plans for the Domino Factory redevelopment have seen several shifts over the years, but progress is already underway across several of the sites comprising the masterplan, which entails thousands of new units across a multitude of towers. Now, the full plans for the actual Domino Factory redevelopment are out, and they have seen substantial revisions as Vishaan Chakrabarti’s PAU, aka, Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, has taken the helm for the project’s design.

The site has an address of 294-314 Kent Avenue, and sits at the center of the larger redevelopment. YIMBY recently covered the first building’s opening over at 325 Kent Avenue, which has 522 apartments, 105 of which are affordable.

PAU’s submission to the LPC will go before the Commission on Tuesday, so it may still see some changes.

Domino Interior

Domino Interior

The full package reveals the inspiration of the project is “round arch” American-style architecture, which is seen in both the St. Louis Gateway Arch, and Quonset Huts. In this instance, the envelope will be set within the existing brick structure, creating a building where there are actually what amount to two sets of exterior walls.

Space between the glassy redevelopment and the existing brick walls will also create massive interior courtyards in the center of the structure. The comparison with the previous chunkier plan, which was attractive in its own right, is still favorable, and the re-thinking of the office component in this iteration should yield an interesting contribution on the skyline, and legitimately Class-A space within the interior.

Pending approval of the plans by the LPC, completion of the project is tentatively expected by the early 2020s.

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TFC Horizon

5 Comments on "Historic Domino Sugar Factory Redevelopment Sees Major Update, Williamsburg"

  1. Welcome Home (David) | October 30, 2017 at 8:13 am | Reply

    Behind bars if you say ’round arch’ very ugly. (According to courtroom)

  2. Not so sure about the american round arch glass atrium used here – that doesn’t usually apply to the roof lines, right? The result is something like the skylights at Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island.

  3. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is not a round arch, it is a catenary arch. There are many, many different kinds of arches – round, catenary, parabolic, ogee, elliptical, etc. – and they each have unique structural properties, i.e. they behave differently under stress. Also, there is nothing inherently “American” about a round arch – in fact, names for architectural styles that employ round arches include Romanesque (early Medieval Europe) and Rundbogenstil (19th Century German).

  4. GLORIA SANDOVAL | October 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Reply


  5. It’s all very nice, architecturally speaking.
    But while working conditions may have improved before it closed, my understanding is that in the course of its existence the Domino Sugar factory was a hellhole in its earliest days – with many workers being maimed and actually dying due to the unbearable heat and workings conditions. And many of them were immigrants, deliberately chosen because they would be least likely to complain. And paid the least of course.
    This new rebirth of Domino fits right in with that sordid history – as greedy real estate developers nowadays rape the very same community
    that Domino once exploited, causing people to be torn from their roots with skyrocketing rents, as they scramble for the few crumbs of so-called affordable housing tossed at them.
    I wonder how the new office workers at Domino will feel about working amid the spirits of exploited, injured and murdered workers.
    Surely their ghostly shrieks of pain and suffering must still echo through these cavernous spaces.
    And perhaps a sad apparition in some dark corner will softly whisper: “But I was only looking for work…..”.

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