Located on the site of a former industrial bakery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Williams apartment building stands on a block surrounded by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Marcy Avenue J/M/Z elevated subway line, and the Williamsburg Bridge. While proximity to trains is almost always desirable in New York City real estate, here, the intersection of transit infrastructure isolated the eclectic block of warehouses and brownstones and may have contributed to a slower rate of residential development than elsewhere in the otherwise rapidly growing Williamsburg area. The site, therefore, required a contemporary building that would draw new residents to the area while at the same time balancing the grand scale of the elevated roadways and railways with the smaller brick townhouses and warehouses that are integral to the character of the neighborhood.
The balance of contemporary and historic influences continues throughout the building’s interiors. The lobby artwork by Matthias van Arkel and Peter Calvin were selected by MA to evoke a bold and eclectic graphic quality. MA also designed a custom dividing wall behind the reception desk using dark green copper panels that were salvaged from the bakery that originally occupied the site to serve as an artistic representation and connection to the site’s industrial heritage.
Image Credit: Matthew Williams