Morris Adjmi Architects

550 Clinton

276,000 square feet
29 stories, 284 units
Brooklyn, New York

Designed to bridge a large new development and a small historic neighborhood, this mixed-use multifamily building is influenced by the colorful Romanesque architecture of a nearby landmarked church. Views toward the church’s belfry are framed by the gently twisting tower.

550 Clinton Avenue is a 29-story residential building located along Brooklyn's rapidly evolving Atlantic Avenue corridor. Comprised of distinctive base and tower structures, the new building wraps around a full city block that it shares with the historic Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew—a local landmark since its completion in 1891 and an officially designated landmark since 1981.

550 Clinton’s design was largely influenced by the adjacent Romanesque ecclesiastical church complex. The tower’s gently torqueing lower portion preserves views of its distinguished belfry, whose columns inspired the sculptural profile of the concrete panels that clad the new building. Cast with a multi-colored aggregate that echoes the colorful red Scotch granite, dark brownstone, and lighter sandstone used in the construction of the church, the panels shift from thick to thin as they rise up the tower around large bays of floor-to-ceiling windows. This treatment creates a subtle tripartite scheme that becomes more evident as sunlight cascades across the building façade throughout the day.

At the podium, concrete panels shift horizontally across the façade to frame the building’s ground-floor commercial space and a twisting corner that brings the lower structure into alignment with the context of Clinton Avenue.