Margaret Apartment Building

Brooklyn, NY

This 11-story, new apartment building, is the first new structure in a quarter of a century to rise more than 5 stories in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. The mass is concentrated at the Columbia Heights frontage, not on the smaller-scale side street, with the cornice level gradually stepping up as the building increases in height. Contextualism played a key role in the building’s design because of the landmarked site. Materials were selected both to integrate the building with the neighborhood and to reference the fire-destroyed, landmark Margaret Hotel that previously occupied the site. The importance of the Margaret Apartments lies not only in its deference to history, but also in its commitment to reinterpreting classic forms and urban fabric in new design.