Long-abandoned Empire Stores – an 1869 coffee warehouse fronting along the wildly successful Brooklyn Bridge Park – is now home to retail stores, office space, restaurants, a beer garden, and an outpost of the Brooklyn Historical Society. Future Green’s landscape for the iconic structure comprises three components: a 7,000-square-foot rooftop public park (the first of its kind in the landscape repertoire of Brooklyn Bridge Park); an expansive 50,000 square feet of green roofs planted with wild and colorful meadow species; and a streetscape of charred cedar planters echoing the building’s working past.
The design concept amplifies the simple forms and powerful voids that operate at multiple scales throughout the site, from its position along the waterfront framed by two archetypal bridges to the abandoned work spaces of another time. Landscape materials evoke the cultural heritage and legacy of Empire Stores. Angular, diamond-plate steel planters and reclaimed-wood seating echo the dynamic rip-rap shapes along the nearby river’s edge, while a grand, singular specimen tree links a new interior courtyard to the rooftop landscape.