To convert this turn-of-the century cooperage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn into a 70-room boutique hotel, the original brick-and-timber building was sensitively renovated and expanded with an airy glass addition designed as a counterpoint to the original structure. Contemporary building codes required the removal of an entire 20-foot bay from the industrial artifact, and in its place a glass window-wall—modeled after the original factory windows—extends up the facade to wrap the three-story addition, where a popular rooftop bar and terrace offer panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. Inside, layers of paint and grime have been painstakingly peeled away to reveal the building’s history. New concrete floor slabs complement its industrial character, conceal the building systems, and provide sufficient fire-proofing to expose the old wood beams, columns, and ceilings. The large, open rooms accentuate the original architecture of the barrel factory, as does the custom furniture, much of which was built by local craftsmen using wood salvaged from the original building. In the lobby, an old conveyer belt remains as “found art” and a reminder that buildings don’t belong to any single moment in time, but exist in a continuum of experience and memory.
Image Credits: Matthew Williams, Jimi Billingsley, Mark Mahaney