The crazy people at Two Trees are moving forward with designs that were approved on November 28. The plans will now involve a bizarre glass dome and a return for the historic Domino Sugar sign. Construction is set to be completed by 2020.
A developer will transform the old Domino Sugar factory’s landmarked refinery building into a futuristic glass-and-brick office space following the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Tuesday vote to approve the design. The greenlit proposal — which a new architect created after the building’s owners scrapped the first landmarks-approved makeover — is a sweet way to preserve the waterfront structure’s heritage while turning it into a contemporary workspace, according to a leader of the project.
Honchos at the Brooklyn-based real-estate company in October tapped architect Vishaan Chakrabarti from Practice for Architecture and Urbanism to makeover the 19th-century Kent Avenue structure that once churned out Domino’s sweet stuff.
His design calls for creating a glass-encased office space with a barrel-vaulted roof that is surrounded by the refinery’s outer walls and set back from the brick exterior, allowing sunlight and air to flow freely between the building’s old and new components, according to information from the developer. It will also include a courtyard and ground-floor space for to-be-announced restaurants and shops, as well as public bathrooms.
The architect’s predecessor proposed a similar concept — a glass-enclosed office within the refinery’s current exterior — but the crystalline workspace in that version butted against the brick walls, instead of being set back from them. Landmarks commission members approved that plan in 2014, but the developer ultimately decided to scrap it out of fear it would result in a dark, unwelcoming space that could drive tenants away, according to a New York Magazine report.