550 Clinton Avenue is a 29-story residential building that bridges Pacific Park—a major mixed-use development within Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood—and the smaller-scale structures of nearby Clinton Hill. Comprised of distinctive base and tower structures, the building wraps around a full city block that it shares with the historic Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew—a local landmark since its completion in 1891 and an officially designated landmark since 1981.
The design of 550 Clinton Avenue was largely influenced by the Romanesque ecclesiastical church complex. The tower’s gently torqueing lower portion preserves and frames views of the church’s distinguished belfry, whose columns inspired the sculptural profile of the concrete panels that clad the new building. Cast with a multi-colored aggregate that echoes the colorful red Scotch granite, dark brownstone, and lighter sandstone used in the construction of the church, the panels shift from thick to thin as they rise up the tower around large bays of floor-to-ceiling windows. This treatment creates a subtle tripartite scheme that becomes more evident as sunlight cascades across the building façade throughout the day. At the podium, the concrete panels shift horizontally across the façade to frame the building’s ground floor commercial space and feature a twisting corner that brings the lower structure into alignment with the context of Clinton Avenue. Though it joins Pacific Park in introducing a new architectural scale to this part of Brooklyn, 550 Clinton Avenue is still defined by its context and tied to the neighborhood’s history.