Southside Williamsburg, already a land of extremes, is about to become more so. In addition to the mix of Hasidim, hipsters, and luxury condo buyers, there’s that fast-rising high-end rental building at Kent and Broadway that will top out soon at 15 stories, and now there’s this crazy high-rise hotel thing planned for the lot right next to the historic Williamsburgh Savings Bank on Broadway between Driggs and Bedford. It’s called Williamsburghotel, and it’s on its way to becoming a reality.
The winner of a design competition for the new high-rise hotel, Architect’s Newspaper reports, is the Miami-based firm Oppenheim Architecture+Design. (Joke about Miami Beach condo architecture’s takeover of North American cities goes here.) The plan calls for a three-slabbed tower that will rise, with two setbacks, to 440 feet. By my calculations, based on the feet-per-floor ratio of the Empire State Building, 440 feet should be almost 36 stories, minus a few because the floors will probably be all faux-lofty and shit, let’s say 30 stories.
But in case you’re worried that the new hotel will look way, way out of place on the South Williamsburg skyline, fret not: the shortest of the three 16-foot-wide slabs rises to the height of the 19th century dome of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank building next door, and the tallest matches the towers of the Williamsburg Bridge. See? Totally integrated into the local neighborhood’s fabric! Or, as the archibabble would have it, “the tower mixes height and materiality to form a relationship with the surrounding neighborhood.”
And what of those materials?
The hotel’s crystalline facade is formed by structural diagonal steel designed to resist lateral loading. In addition to green roofs topping the two lower slabs, [Chad Oppenheim, principal at Oppenheim A+D] hopes to achieve LEED Platinum certification with geothermal, wind, and solar power.
Well, ok, that’s good. Oppenheim declined to reveal who is developing the huge hotel, but it’s not the same group that’s currently renovating the historic bank next-door with an eye to converting it to a hotel and event space. So long South Williamsburg, it’s been real.