Online and national retailers have changed our connection to architecture and place. Generic retail buildings are thin, stripped down, and unarticulated; their designs less architecture than a retailer branding backdrop and customer parking. When clustered together into retail corridors, they form a landscape that is experienced visually, having little resonance for those who are not shopping or passing through.
Our site is at the edge of a retail corridor, next to an apartment complex whose residents will face the rear of our building daily. We ask if it were possible for the back of a retail building to aspire to more than achieving invisibility. Could it evoke a connection to the actual land and place that the building sits upon? In treating the building's rear facade as a ‘natural’ looking occurrence of soil layers we create a landmark that evokes a landscape from before and after retail.
MEP: ATOZ Consulting Engineers
Code/Zoning: JM Zoning
Construction, 2018. Brooklyn, NY.