1 John Street / 2016


1 John Street is a LEED Gold condominium development on the DUMBO neighborhood’s last waterfront site. The project, adjacent to Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Manhattan Bridge, also houses retail and an annex to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. The facade of the building strives to project elegance while using brick masonry and punch windows compatible with the vernacular of adjacent industrial buildings. The bespoke punch windows, which cantilever out from the brick facade, are as large as 6 ft x 9 ft (1.8m x 2.7m) to take advantage of stunning Manhattan skyline and river views. The windows appear almost frameless with the frames recessed into the walls on the interior and a site line of only 1 inch on the exterior.

Front was involved from schematic design through completion. Demanding thermal performance requirements and demanding acoustic requirements, given proximity to the Manhattan Bridge, were major design drivers. Double insulated and double laminated glass with acoustic interlayers is used throughout the building. To allow even the largest punch window to open as an awning window without diminishing the thermal and acoustic performance, Front developed a motorized windows design with integral insulation and four lines of gaskets. The operable windows also maintain the frameless appearance of the fixed windows and operate smoothly despite the 360 kg (800 pounds) of glass that they support.

The monolithic appearance of the building was achieved through use of staggered expansion joints and an atypical brick module with large mortar joints, allowing expansion joints to match their appearance. Glass walls at the roof and ground floor can be opened to create a seamless connection between interior and exterior spaces. For these walls, Front specified lift and slide doors for improved thermal and acoustic performance and located manufacturers able to accommodate the double insulated glass, sizes of up to (6 ft x 11.5 ft (1.8m x 3.5m), and frameless open corners.