Set along the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn, New York, is Industry City, a row of distinct industrial warehouses on Third Avenue between 32nd and 37th Streets. Home to offices for advertising, media, technology, fabrication, and other creative companies, as well as event spaces, retail shops, and a food hall, Industry City boasts three public courtyards, the third of which was designed by New York City landscape architect firm, Terrain, and installed by The Todd Group Inc.
The courtyards formerly held railroad loading docks, where raw materials were delivered to and goods transported from the buildings’ stacked warehouses and factories. Terrain embraced an urban forest theme for its design, creating juxtaposition between the industrial roots of the space and layers of a forest while keeping flexibility in mind. The 200-foot-long quad transitions seamlessly from space to space to offer a variety of options for the many needs of Industry City’s different tenants.
Up entry steps is a grove of Honey Locust trees that create a city garden feel. Industry City transported an old fire tower from the Adirondacks to establish a vertical element in the courtyard that celebrates the design aesthetic of the entire Industry City campus. A large artificial turf area is framed by a set of timber bleachers—perfect for lunch-break picnics or outdoor team meetings.
The Todd Group lent its expertise to create a dense urban forest of native trees, including Oaks, Tulips, Birches, and Serviceberries. A wooden boardwalk weaves throughout, with ferns, perennials, and low shrubs, including summersweet, sweetbox, and hydrangea, creating a rich habitat and understory . Wood platforms and benches offer shaded seating.
The final section of the courtyard is an open, flex space, where The Todd Group installed crushed stone surface. This square could accommodate anything from maker classes to yoga to lunch-and-learns. For summer 2017, The Lightship Frying Pan, a seasonal “floating” bar and restaurant at Chelsea Piers, opened its satellite eatery here, called the Wheelhouse. A tugboat wheelhouse between the artificial turf lawn and the Locust grove creates the bar, while the flex space is home to a nine-hole, Brooklyn-themed miniature golf course that guests can enjoy.
The Todd Group installed all landscape and hardscape elements of this project, exercising our expertise in woodworking, stonework, and creating imaginative yet functional landscapes. Industry City had many technical challenges, including working around existing elements and structures and developing a storm water management system between two buildings. Our ability to speak the same language as landscape architects lends to our consistent success delivering high-quality projects like this one. Here, we proudly infused tranquility into a vibrant urban environment, and more importantly, created a space that brings the community together.
All photos by Michael Hnatov Photography.