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the refinery at domino: brooklyn's long-awaited industrial renovation completes

A Landmark Transformation on the Brooklyn Waterfront

 

Brooklyn’s iconic waterfront sees the long-awaited completion of the The Refinery at Domino, a fifteen-story, 460,000 square-foot office space within an industrial brick structure originally completed in 1884. Led by Two Trees Management, designed by Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, and activated by venue development firm Skylight, this renovation stands as the centerpiece of the 11-acre Domino Sugar Factory site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Refinery is set to redefine the standard for commercial buildings in New York City, offering world-class workspaces and amenities, while preserving the site’s rich history and embracing sustainability.

 

Over a decade in the making, The Refinery at Domino opens at a time when we are witnessing a significant shift in human capital to Brooklyn,’ said Jed Walentas, CEO of Two Trees Management.Our vision for the Domino site has always been to cultivate a vibrant mixed-use community on the Williamsburg waterfront. The Refinery at Domino is the centerpiece of this vision, delivering the best-in-class commercial space to accommodate Brooklyn’s dynamic workforce.’

refinery domino brooklynimages © Max Touhey

 

 

modern workspaces occupy new york industrial history

 

Perched along Brooklyn’s East River waterfront, The Refinery at Domino opens out toward views of the Manhattan skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows. Developer Two Trees Management worked with design architect Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) to introduce lofty, open workspaces fit with modern amenities, all within expansive floor plates of up to 33,000 square feet. The structure is topped by a 27,000 square-foot glass dome penthouse with sweeping, 360-degree views. This versatile space can accommodate communal workspaces, private clubs, and events, and becomes a glowing lantern during the evening thanks to the team at lighting design agency L’Observatoire International. Below, a triple-height atrium lobby with a full-service concierge and security sets the tone for a welcoming atmosphere.

refinery domino brooklyn
the intervention takes shape as a glass volume nested within the historic brick shell

 

 

Along with the sunlit office spaces, The Refinery at Domino houses 60,000 square feet of retail space, including a fitness club with an indoor pool and full-service gym. A dedicated bicycle lobby with a separate entrance and secure bike parking caters to the eco-conscious. Ground-level food and beverage shops will into Domino Park, while a one-acre outdoor events venue, completes the surrounding six-acre Domino Park.

 

Skylight, a venue development firm known for its prolific cultural programming, brings its expertise to The Refinery’s penthouse space, transforming it into Brooklyn’s newest event venue. The penthouse hosted its inaugural event, the Hermès Menswear Runway Show during New York Fashion Week, signaling its potential as a sought-after cultural and event space.

refinery domino brooklyn
Theodore Havemeyer designed the Refinery to be heavily influenced by the Rundbogenstil, or Romanesque Revival

 

 

refinery at domino: a glass intervention in a brick shell

 

The Refinery at Domino stands out as a unique fusion of modernity and Brooklyn history. Designed by Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, the project retained the charm of the landmarked building while incorporating new construction elements. The challenge of aligning floors and window sills was ingeniously resolved by creating a 12-foot gap between the new glass building and the existing brick facade. This not only ensured standardized floor heights but also flooded the interior with natural light, providing occupants with a connection to the outdoors.

 

The building’s innovative architectural design extends to its exterior, where a large-scale green ecosystem lines the entire perimeter. This vertical garden, featuring towering American sweet gum and native pin oak trees, as well as lush plantings, redefines biophilic office design. Landscape architecture firm Field Operations played a pivotal role in bringing this vision to life. The Refinery’s interiors were crafted by Bonetti/Kozerski, and executive architect dencityworks.

refinery domino brooklyn

in response to an 1882 fire, Havemeyer designed the iteration standing today with iron as opposed to wood

refinery domino brooklynat full speed, the Refinery was producing over a million pounds of sugar daily

domino-sugar-factory-refinery-williamsburg-brooklyn-new-york-designboom-06a

between the new glass building and the existing brick facade is a plant-filled, 12-foot gap

refinery domino brooklyn
the structure is topped by a 27,000 square-foot glass dome penthouse with sweeping, 360-degree views

domino-sugar-factory-refinery-williamsburg-brooklyn-new-york-designboom-08a

lofty, open workspaces are fit with modern amenities

 

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the building's height matched early Manhattan skyscrapers across the river, making it the first grand addition to the Brooklyn waterfront’s skyline
the building's height matched early Manhattan skyscrapers across the river, making it the first grand addition to the Brooklyn waterfront’s skyline
the iconic, 240-foot smokestack that faces the western facade of the building came decades later in the 1930s
the iconic, 240-foot smokestack that faces the western facade of the building came decades later in the 1930s
the factory was one of the first structures in Brooklyn to use electricity, most likely through self produced power
the factory was one of the first structures in Brooklyn to use electricity, most likely through self produced power
interiors offer views across the Manhattan skyline
interiors offer views across the Manhattan skyline
modern workspaces accommodate the rapidly growing neighborhood of South Williamsburg
modern workspaces accommodate the rapidly growing neighborhood of South Williamsburg
historical photo
historical photo
historical photo
historical photo
historical photo
historical photo

project info:

 

project title: The Refinery at Domino | @therefineryatdomino

location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

design architect: Practice for Architecture and Urbanism | @we.are.pau

developer: Two Trees Management | @twotreesny

venue development: Skylight | @skylight

executive architect: dencityworks | @dencityworks

landscape architect: Field Operations | @fieldoperations

interior design: Bonetti/Kozerski | @bonettikozerski

lighting design: L’Observatoire International | @lobservatoire_intl

completion: September 2023

photography: © Max Touhey

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