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Domino Refinery Redesign Gets Landmarks Commission Approval

Rendering from PAU for the Domino Sugar Refinery Site

Nov. 29, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

Redesigned plans for the landmarked Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, slated to become a site for offices, received the green light by the city’s Landmark’s Commission on Tuesday.

A revamped design to the Kent Avenue location was first introduced in October, which saw plans for a “building within a building”, or a glasslike structure within the old refinery, that would bring in more light to the future office building bring developed by Two Trees.

The redesign, by the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, did away with prior plans from a separate architecture firm that saw wall-to-wall floors and large, clear blocks atop the building, which were already approved by the Landmarks Commission in 2014.

Former and current plans for the Refinery Site (PAU)

Vishaan Chakrabarti, PAU’s founder, said the new design’s clear domes atop the building are a “calm” alternative to the site. “We really believe this creates a harmonious relationship with the building in terms of old and new,” Chakrabarti said at a CB1 Land Use meeting in October.

At ground level, a t-shaped courtyard with public access would provide access from Kent Avenue to the waterfront, along with space for a food hall, retailers, and ADA-accessible restrooms.

The office building planned for the refinery site is part of a large, ongoing development that will see affordable housing, retail, community facilities, and a public space on the Williamsburg waterfront totaling 3.3 million square feet, with a 6.5 acre park set to open in June. The office space will either go to one large company or multiple tech companies, the developers said.

The Nov. 28 decision during the public hearing will allow Two Trees to move forward with construction on the site. No timeline has been released on the project.

Exterior rendering of future Refinery site, part of PAU’s presentation to the Landmarks Commission.

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