The Toy Factory Lofts Condominium Downtown
176 Johanson street Brooklyn NY
A toy factory built-in 1920 changed its designation to a residential building with open lofts, functional, innovative, and unconventional design that creates a dramatic, exciting and surprising experience.
The biggest challenge in designing the 56 loft units in the building was the 8 mushroom-like construction columns on each floor, and 2 escape stairs in the two corners of the building, diagonally opposing each other.
Through my belief that restrictions encourage creativity, I’ve decided to combine the existing old features with the new concept, and to use the constraints as leverage to rebuild the space, both at the decorative and the practical level.
Although the required solution was to connect the two staircases diagonally, it was decided to build between them, on each floor, a zig-zag corridor that would pass through 4 of the 8 columns.
The unique corridor structure created 90-degree free space within each apartment, which was used to store all the plumbing, electric and A/C systems, as part of a side service area that also included the kitchen and bathroom, leaving the central space open, bright and airy. The pillars themselves were highlighted with special lighting, and were incorporated, some as design elements, and some as dividing elements that constitute a foyer to the apartments. Also, the air conditioning ducts were left exposed, to give the lofts an industrial feel, preserving the connection to the original purpose of the building.
The project the SARA- Social American Registered Architects Brooklyn NY on June 21st, 2004