Architects counsel reusing disused industrial tanks on the Brooklyn waterfront

Architects suggest reusing disused industrial tanks on the Brooklyn waterfront

Courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith Workshopshare

Or

https://www.archdaily.com/922294/architects-propose-to-repurpose-decommissioned-industrial-tanks-on-brooklyns-waterfront

Courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith WorkshopCourtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith WorkshopCourtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith WorkshopCourtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith Workshop+ 27

In New York, activists and professionals have been working for many years to save 10 disused tanks from demolition by suggesting alternative uses for these structures. Working with STUDIO V, an architecture firm and landscape architect Ken Smith Workshop, they developed an inventive proposal that reinterprets these industrial relics as a 21st century park, a novelty in the traditional definition and configuration of public spaces.

Courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith WorkshopCourtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith Workshop

Because of their cultural and civic value, it was important for the designers to give these warehouses a public figure and a function that can celebrate their demonstrated typology and history on Williamsburg’s Brooklyn waterfront. The first drawings show many different ideas, including vertical gardens, performance rooms, oyster hatcheries, art installations, etc. The tanks can accommodate a picnic grove of birch and wildflowers reflecting pools of water with hanging vines, a 250-seat theater, rocky landscapes and adventure playgrounds as well even an oyster farm to regrow the destroyed oyster population in New York Harbor.

Courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith WorkshopCourtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith Workshop

The tanks at Bushwick Inlet Park also capture the creative aspect of the surrounding neighborhoods and their booming arts scene, and appreciate the community’s contribution and embodiment of their needs, especially for green public and open spaces. Ten principles have been drawn up to ensure that the process goes as intended, including bottom-up approaches, sustainable measures, integrative, resilient and fast solutions.

Courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith WorkshopCourtesy of STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith Workshop

When it comes to forgotten and unused structures, there is no manual that prescribes the right measures. Still, the sustainable method would prefer an adaptive approach where these constructions can be reused and preserved, and where their shape can be adopted rather than removed from the skyline. Indeed, rehabilitation can take many faces and endless possibilities of programs can be imagined.


A documentary made by PLANE-SITE explains their approach and aims to reach out to people to stop the demolition work planned by the city. An online petition was also created on change.org, in which 1000 signatures have been collected so far.

Comments are closed.