Morris Adjmi Architects

The Ampersand

12 feet tall
Brooklyn, New York

Positioned within Front & York’s extended, 30-foot sidewalk, The Ampersand is a permanent public artwork designed to activate the mixed-use development's new plaza-like pedestrian experience at the intersection of Front and Jay streets in DUMBO. Its form and concept are simple and direct: the painted black aluminum sculpture symbolizes connection, anchoring the evolving neighborhood with an iconic and inclusive point of reference.

In a literal sense, The Ampersand tells the Front & York story, but at the same time, it creates an open and engaging dialogue with the neighborhood—a conversation with endless interpretations of ‘togetherness'. Weighing approximately 2,000 pounds and standing 12 feet tall, the permanent sculpture was designed to serve as a place-maker, providing a gathering point for the public to connect with each other and the community.

The form of the sculpture is derived from classic sans-serif typefaces but was modified by MA’s design team to create a monumental presence. It was conceived simultaneously as a simple black-ink typeface element—a printed conjunction suddenly brought to life—and a giant emblematic reference to the industrial heritage of the historic DUMBO neighborhood, whose cobblestone streets and masonry buildings were built for the transport of heavy machinery.

The Ampersand is MA's second public art installation in Brooklyn, following the design of the iconic red neon Welcome sign atop a former Jehovah’s Witnesses’ building in Brooklyn Heights.

Production & Installation