FXCollaborative has updated design proposals for a new residential tower and partial expansion of the historic Brooklyn Music School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Located at 130 Saint Felix Street, the most notable changes in the architect’s proposals include a new structural height of 265 feet, down from 285 feet, and a series of setback terrace levels toward the top of the building. The proposal was approved at a Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) meeting on August 4th.
Previous feedback from the LPC included concerns that the height of the building competes with the landmarked One Hanson Place immediately behind the proposed tower. The commissioners were also concerned that the new building blocked a historic rose window at One Hanson Place and felt that the proposed façade was too dark and overly complex, and therefore out of context in relation to the surrounding neighborhood.
In the revisions, the two-story base imitates the look and scale of a townhouse to accomplish a more contextual street wall along Ashland Place. At the third floor, the building sets back 20 feet. An additional setback at the fifth floor brings the profile back an additional 20 feet. The structure sets back another four times as it rises.
Updated renderings for the project reveal that the formerly proposed “planes” on the north and south elevations removed and replaced with the same vertical articulation used elsewhere in the envelope. The masonry components, which first incorporated eight different colors of brick, now comprise only five different colors, with the darkest shades removed.
The design team has also pushed the entire tower 30 feet closer to Ashland Place, which effectively reduces the structure’s distance from the curb down to 18 feet. Residential loading and trash gangway are also relocated to Ashland Place away from the previously proposed service entry on Saint Felix Street.
Gotham Organization first announced plans to construct the tower in 2019. The developer acquired the empty lot for $5.5 million in 2015 and since that time has worked alongside the Brooklyn Music School and FXCollaborative to conceive a project that both creates the opportunity for quality mixed-income home ownership and expands the school’s existing facilities by 20,000 square feet.
Previous proposals specified that the project would yield 120 units, 30 percent of which would be reserved for Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. However, considering the scaled-back design, it is unclear how many units will debut once complete.