Brooklyn neighbourhood Bushwick’s former Rheingold Brewery has been ripe for redesign since the well known beer company shut up shop in 1976. With the original complex since demolished, New York firm ODA Architecture has just revealed its proposal for the complete transformation of a significant part of the site – some of it is already home to new housing – as a vibrant new urban complex, Bushwick II.
Spearheaded by All Year Management, the large-scale project will be significant, both in scale and scope. Injecting 1,000,000 sq ft of housing (20 per cent of which will be affordable), leisure, fitness, retail and art into the neighbourhood, the scheme promises to also boost the area’s green space with a combination of outdoor areas to sit and rest, and a striking 17,850 sq ft park.
The buildings will be arranged within a grid system, which has been tweaked and adjusted where needed in order to ‘encourage both leisure and discovery’, explain the architects. A sense of openness will be achieved through links and ‘corridors’ between the internal courtyards of buildings and the surrounding streetscape.
‘Rheingold Brewery’s site presents an extraordinary opportunity to redefine some very fundamental aspects of what we’ve come to accept in urban living,’ says ODA founder and executive director Eran Chen. ‘The project – 1,000,000 sq ft spread over two full city blocks – is truly a city within a city… a culture in and of itself, and a project that we hope will continue to challenge all the expected sacrifices of urban life.'
The project has already broken ground, and full completion is expected in about 18 months' time. ODA is also involved in one more site on the former brewery, a 380,000 sq ft mixed-use complex adjacent to this one, making the firm a key player in the area's redevelopment.