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Timber Adaptive Reuse Theater

Brooklyn, NY
  • Bldg system

    Mass Timber

  • No. Of Stories


  • Sq. footage


Originally a heavy industrial site, housing a metal foundry in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, this double A-frame building will be restored to become an innovative studio space for the theatrical arts. The project examines the opportunities for sustainable interventions within our existing building stock by leaving select building elements in place, strategically adapting and re-inserting existing building materials, and inserting new mass timber components.

The design for the space maintains the existing heavy timber classification of the 1902 building by exposing the existing wood trusses and leveraging contemporary mass timber construction to create bright, interconnected volumes. The building's masonry shell and timber frame roof will be reinforced and preserved. The existing timber floor structure will be removed to create a double height spaces within which a new cross laminated timber and glulam floor structure will be inserted. The existing roof will remain in place, necessitating the innovative use of a gantry crane to slide the large CLT panels into the existing structure.
The insertion of the new mass timber floor structure allowed for the creation of open, flexible spaces, all filled with natural light. A central double-height Entry Hall serves as the primary gathering space, encouraging unplanned conversations and collaborations and connecting four separate rehearsal spaces. The removed timber floor joists will be adapted into guardrail posts in the Entry Hall and acoustic panel separations in the Large Studio space. The project will not only reuse the building but reduce demolition waste by reclaiming integral materials throughout the design.

Photographs: Naho Kubota,, Drawings: CO Adaptive,

  • Construction Type:


  • Building Type:

    Assembly (Worship, Restaurant, Theater)

  • Material Types:

    Mass Timber, Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT), Timber-Frame / Post and Beam

Companies Involved:
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