Gansevoort Row is a group of 5 contiguous structures in NYC’s Gansevoort Market Historic District. Their redevelopment for a single owner Aurora Capital, was created from 11 original buildings. Our full-block design celebrates the many periods of significance within this historic district - a showcase for robust, utilitarian brick buildings of multiple eras, many with a compelling interplay of masonry materials. Located in a historic district the project required a complex proposal to the Landmarks Preservation Commission who understood the worth of telling the story of commercial and industrial changes from the late 19th century to the present through the design interventions. The overriding aesthetic goal was to reflect the industrial past and to signal a district-wide rebirth.
The redevelopment of Gansevoort Row offered a rare opportunity to reflect the complex 150-year history of a block-long section of urban fabric through an innovative combination of restoration, re-creation, adaptation, and interpretation. Our transformation of this key area in the Gansevoort Market Historic District preserves the low scale purpose-built 1930’s market structures, re-establishes the 19th-century tenement-scale midblock, and terminates with an industrial-strength warehouse-inspired structure to anchor the western corner. This new and varied composition adds cultural and economic value to the neighborhood, while attracting solid retail and office tenants for our client. An anchor block was revealed creating a gateway from popular tourist destinations to the neighborhood.
Our Adaptive Reuse strategy which maximized the preservation of existing buildings on the site enabled an efficiency that lowered the environmental impact as well as the financial impact to our client. The thoughtful interventions for each building recognized the requirements of a Landmarks District and retained a total of 1,564 tons of historic masonry. These saved materials were diverted from the landfill, and eliminated emissions related to the demolition and transportation of that material. This approach also reduced the use of new material to reconstruct these elements. If we had rebuilt as a modern assembly, the project would have emitted an additional 372 tons of greenhouse gas.
The redevelopment of Gansevoort Row offered a rare opportunity to reflect the complex 150-year history of a block-long section of urban fabric through an innovative combination of restoration, re-creation, adaptation, and interpretation.
The 2 eastern-most buildings were restored to versions of themselves from the 1940s. The new building on the opposite end of the row looked to nearby, bulkier warehouse buildings for design inspiration. The 2 largest buildings–60-68 and 70-74 Gansevoort Street–appear separate yet are linked by one core. The 3 smaller buildings are existing structures transformed for modern retail. The architectural interventions to 46-48, 50 and 52-58 Gansevoort Street might go unnoticed, as they involve transformation by restoration and interior reconfiguration, rather than the 80,000-sf vertical expansion and new building to the west.
The owners’ long-established history in the area and many neighboring commercial and residential buildings, and the capacity to redevelop the full block was essential to its success. The objective of the redevelopment was to increase the usable square footage and value of each property. The result is 5 buildings whose history, façade restoration, cast iron columns, wood floors, and brick details mix with new construction, inspire curiosity, and maintain the neighborhood’s unique cultural legacy.
"Now, as tenants open their shops and as outdoor dining becomes permanent, this block stands out as one of the most vibrant in a notably vibrant neighborhood. The transformation sets a high bar for historically sensitive preservation and expansion that builds intrigue and revenue and active streets. The redevelopment of Gansevoort Row has added momentum and demonstrated the resilience of the Meatpacking District’s commercial renaissance."
BKSK was established in 1985, and is now a six-partner, fifty-person firm headquartered in New York City. As both architects and scholars of the built environment that surrounds us, we believe that great design has meaning and consequence, and what we build, how we build it, and how it is used, matters. Together with our clients and consultants, we create meaningful, thoughtful, and beautiful works of architecture.
More generally, we are specialists in socially engaging, contextually appropriate and environmentally conscious design. We have developed our expertise by truly listening to, and learning from, our clients and each other. Our projects include residential, cultural, community, and educational institutions, at every scale. Our practice has taught us that in the civic realm, we play an important role—not only as an architect but as an advocate for buildings that contribute to the spirit of a place.