Landmarks Commission approves Domino Sugar’s conversion into office development

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Practice for Architecture and Urbanism
Rendering of the office space’s interior (Practice for Architecture and Urbanism)

Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has approved on Nov. 28 a proposal by developer Two Trees to convert the Domino Sugar factory’s landmarked refinery building into an office space.

The proposal is already the second design submitted by the developer. After scrapping the first architect’s design despite being approved by the commission, Two Trees tapped architect Vishaan Chakrabarti of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism.

“The new plan is better for everyone,” said Two Trees manager for external affairs David Lombino. “It honors and highlights the landmark; provides a flexible, modern, and totally unique office experience; and welcomes the public to enjoy this great piece of New York’s history.”

Chakrabarti’s design calls for a glass-encased office development with a barrel-vaulted roof surrounded by the refinery’s original outer walls, and set back from the brick exterior. According to the developer, this will allow the free flow of sunlight and air between the building’s old and modern components.

Amenities will be added, including a courtyard and ground-floor space for restaurants and shops.

The previous architect, whom the developer has not revealed, designed a similar structure. It also involved a glass-enclosed office space within the refinery’s existing brick exterior but it leaned against the brick walls.

LPC approved the first design in 2014, but Two Trees decided not to push through with the development for fear that it would result into a dark space that would be unattractive to tenants.

The refinery is located in the old Domino Sugar Factory site that Two Trees plans to transform into a mega-development project, including five buildings and a park by the East River.

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