Ennead Architects and Rockwell Group Unveil City Harvest Headquarters in Brooklyn

New York studios Ennead Architects and Rockwell Group have converted a 19th-century railroad warehouse into the headquarters of a charity organization in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood.

Studios transformed a one-block train repair shop in Brooklyn into the headquarters and distribution center for the charity City Harvest, transforming it into a bright, open space by modernizing the original structure.

Ennead Architects worked with Rockwell Group to design a headquarters for City Harvest

Ennead Architects led the external and internal redesign while Rockwell Group designed an event space and test kitchen for the facility, called the Cohen Community Food Rescue Center.

The historic elements of the facade were kept largely intact by the redesign, with most interventions taking place in the long warehouse-like spaces of the interior.

City crop of architect Enned interior with steel staircase
The structure was a repair depot for a railroad

“For us, the most sustainable building is one that is already there, so our design approach was informed by the potential already existing in this building, which we revitalized and filled with daylight to create an open and welcoming environment. for all,” said Richard Olcott, Partner at Ennead Architects.

Inside, Ennead opened the 150,000-square-foot (13,935-meter) structure and discovered features such as clerestory windows that had been closed.

Desk for City Harvest with modern lights
Ennead Architects was responsible for the majority of office and distribution space

The two-story structure now houses open-plan workspaces alongside food collection and distribution areas, with offices on the top floor and distribution areas on the ground floor.

Throughout, Ennead Architects added steel screens and other partitions, and the studio also restored some of the tree-like wooden support columns throughout the space.

Large storage space for
Much of the timber frame of the original structure has been retained

In the entrance, a steel staircase has been installed to provide access to the upper level, where the office program includes workspaces, lounges and a large gathering space, with custom graphics on some of the walls.

A number of energy-saving upgrades have also been added to the structure. These included hookups, radiant heating and cooling, and electric charging stations.

City Harvest Distribution Center
The structure serves as offices and a distribution center

Rockwell Group was responsible for designing a modern test kitchen where the organization can accommodate chefs and gatherings.

The kitchen has been designed so that visitors can watch food being prepared, and the warm space is made up of reclaimed barn wood, terracotta and steel features.

Test kitchen at City Harvest headquarters with shelving and arch
Rockwell Group created a wood-clad test kitchen

This area leads to restored archways that open to an event space with reclaimed oak flooring and what the studio called “immersive paneling.”

Rockwell Group also installed a roof terrace to complete the program. Here, an outdoor kitchen and lounge area has been furnished with items made from recycled milk jugs.

International architecture studio Ware Malcomb served as the official architect for the project and designed the building’s logistics spaces, including loading docks and food storage systems.

City Harvest is known for saving food waste and redistributing it to New Yorkers in need, and in one year distributes over 75 million pounds of food.

Event space with oak flooring
Rockwell Group has also designed an event space

“As emergency food needs continue to remain well above pre-pandemic levels, our new sustainable headquarters will help us meet the needs of our city – one day, one meal, one New Yorker. at a time,” said the CEO of City Harvest. Jilly Stephens.

Other projects that use older structures include the transformation of a Victorian warehouse into an office structure in London by Squire and Partners and the conversion of a 16th century clergy house in Spain into a holiday home by Atienza. Moor Architectos.

Photography by Albert Vecerka/Esto for Ennead Architects and Jason Varney for Rockwell Group.

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