The conversion of a century-old Long Island City warehouse into a 54-story, 79-unit rental tower called in Queens’s hottest neighborhood was a high-profile project even before the recent announcement that its neighbor would be Amazon. Responsible for 35,000 square feet of public space, including the lobby and various amenities, architects James and Hayes Slade of , partners in work and life, saw their challenge as adding domesticity to a rapidly changing area of New York City with an industrial past. “Our lodestar was to reveal the brutal elegance of the existing structure while instating an uncomplicated sense of luxury,” Hayes Slade explains.
Electrical equipment from the original building was salvaged and mounted onto custom blackened-steel armatures as artifacts for a lobby that’s set off by tensile steel-wire screens. To elevate the exposed-concrete walls and columns, the firm sourced a color-matched travertine for elements including the reception desk and a bench surrounding the skylit interior garden. Sleek seating by and populate the porcelain-paved lounge areas throughout, upholding the simple, sophisticated tone. Life-size photographs of the pre-renovation warehouse were printed on vinyl and hung on walls so that one simultaneously experiences the location’s previous and current views. Says James Slade, “This comfort with the roots of the site signals a supreme confidence and pride in the building’s history”—and its future.
Project Team: Tian Gao; Haelee Jung; Matt Fischer.