Morris Adjmi Architects

465 Pacific

81,000 square feet
7 stories, 30 units
Brooklyn, New York

Located between an eclectic commercial corridor and a quiet historic neighborhood, this contemporary condominium building uses scale, massing, and materials to balance the two very different contexts.

Relating 465 Pacific to its context was complicated, in part because there are actually two contexts: the frontage on Pacific—a quiet, one-way residential street, and the frontage on Atlantic—one of Brooklyn’s primary commercial thoroughfares. Rather than respond to these distinct conditions individually, the new multifamily building strikes a balance between the two contrasting contexts.

Located just outside Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill Historic District, 465 Pacific’s lower brick volume draws inspiration from the historic architecture of the neighborhood, known for nineteenth-century brick townhouses. Along Atlantic Avenue, the wide façade and unbroken procession of windows fit in among the array of larger buildings that punctuate the sawtooth streetscape. At street level, metal-clad storefronts fill a gap in the commercial corridor. On Pacific Street, a narrower façade gives the building a more residential scale.

The stepped-back upper floors are clad in charcoal-colored metal paneling that introduces a contemporary design language but also nods to both the ironworkers who once lived in the neighborhood and the detailed iron railings fronting many local townhouses.

Regularly spaced punched windows reinforce both the historical and contemporary aspects of the building. The proportions are identical to those of a traditional townhouse, although the metal-framed, single-pane windows themselves are slightly larger. The punched apertures make the units—some with three exposures—feel more spacious and help mediate the commercial and residential scales of Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street.

Kitchens within 465 Pacific feature Shaker-inspired custom cabinetry with walnut pulls, and marble counters. Oil-rubbed oak and herringbone tile floors can be found throughout each dwelling. These materials give the interiors a lightness and warmth consistent with living in a historic district.

Design Details

Section. 465 Pacific’s living units are divided between two linked buildings separated by a courtyard. The tiered design results from a change in grade from Atlantic Avenue to the lower Pacific Street, and from the change in ground-floor programs—retail space on Atlantic Avenue and a parking garage on Pacific Street.
Elevation detail illustrating the merger of the masonry and metal facades.
A final rendering of the building’s crown. The setbacks reduce the building’s scale and provide direct access to private outdoor space. Those without private terraces have access to rooftop “cabanas.”
This model view highlights the long, continuous facade along Atlantic Avenue which was designed to complement the larger scale of the commercial corridor.
The project was completed in 2016.