Year Round Program


This Saturday, June 11th, Open House New York’s Field Guide: North Brooklyn will open more than twenty sites across central Williamsburg and Greenpoint. From design studios to cultural spaces to working factories and fabrication shops, the line-up of participating sites represents the dynamic mix of uses made possible by the area’s finely grained urban fabric, the result of a series of successive waves of economic growth and decline, as well as shifting ideologies in urban planning.

On the morning of the event, we invite you to join us for the Field Guide Foreword, a panel discussion about the neighborhood and its future. Before spending the afternoon visiting sites, hear from experts about the area’s past, how a major rezoning in 2005 shifted development patterns, and what we might expect to see in the years to come. Panelists include:

Douglas Adams, Chief Operating Officer, Waterfront Alliance
Leah Archibald, Executive Director, Evergreen
Peter Zuspan, Principal, Bureau V
Gregory Wessner, Executive Director, Open House New York (moderator)

Admission to this panel is free to individuals registered for Field Guide: North Brooklyn, but space is limited and RSVP is required.

  • If you have already purchased tickets to Field Guide and would like to reserve seats at the Foreword panel, email Ben Pardee at
  • If you would like to purchase tickets to Field Guide, click here to be redirected to Eventbrite. You will also have the option to also register for the Foreword panel on the checkout page.

Field Guide Foreword
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(Exact location to be sent upon registration)


PLEASE NOTE: As of 2pm on Friday, June 10, seats at the panel discussion are no longer available. Tickets are still available for Field Guide. Click the link below to purchase tickets and visit the more than 20 participating sites from 1-5pm on Saturday, June 11th!







Saturday, June 11, 2016
Williamsburg and Greenpoint
12:30 PM Check-in (Kinfolk 90, 90 Wythe Avenue)
1:00-5:00 PM Sites Open

Open House New York invites you to Field Guide, a one-day event that explores a single neighborhood through its buildings. Field Guide opens the doors to a wide cross-section of sites–from design studios and fabrication shops to cultural facilities and local landmarks–to consider the mix of spaces, large and small, that work in concert to create a great neighborhood.

The area of North Brooklyn occupied by Williamsburg and Greenpoint was once one of the busiest and most important industrial districts in the United States, home to oil refineries, ship builders, china and porcelain factories, sugar refineries, and iron foundries. Gentrification that started in the 1990s was further fueled through a major rezoning in 2005 that brought waves of luxury apartment buildings, restaurants, and retail shops. Today, high-end commercial and residential development co-exists with dozens of designers and fabricators that feed off of the area’s historic role as a center of production and activity, and an Industrial Business Zone that aims to preserve aspects of its industrial past.

Field Guide: North Brooklyn opens the doors to more than two dozen sites for an opportunity to explore one of New York City’s most dynamic neighborhoods at a transitional moment in its history. The event is organized as a self-guided walking tour, with individual sites offering tours, talks, and demonstrations. Each ticket holder will be given a detailed guide to the neighborhood at registration, and may visit the sites of their choosing in any order during their hours of participation. Check-in for the event will begin at 12:30 PM, and sites will be open between 1:00-5:00 PM.

New: At 11:00 AM on the morning of the event, join us for the Field Guide Foreword, a panel discussion about the neighborhood and its future. (Please note: seats at the morning’s panel discussion are no longer available.)

$15 OHNY Members & Students
$25 General Admission




Participating Sites
AA Studio
ACME Studio
Brooklyn Art Library
Bureau V
C.Wall Architecture
City Reliquary
Church of the Annunciation
Dobbin St
FACE Design & Fabrication
Joseph Vance Architects
Kinfolk (with Berg Design Architecture)
Museum of Food and Drink
STREB Lab for Action Mechanics
Studio Tractor Architecture PLLC
Tacklebox Architecture
The Lot Radio
VAMOS Architects
Williamsburg Art and Historical Center

Have a site in the neighborhood that you would like to open as part of Field Guide: North Brooklyn on June 11th? Email OHNY Program Director Brendan Crain at

Photo by Franck Michel via Flickr

Open House New York’s Monograph in Motion is an ongoing series of public tours celebrating the work of design firms that have had a significant impact on New York City’s built environment. Monograph in Motion tours illuminate how larger ideas about design and urbanism are expressed through a firm’s buildings and how those ideas evolve over time across multiple projects.

The next Monograph in Motion explores the work of Ennead Architects, a firm that creates new paradigms for how we live, learn, work and play. Tours of four projects will provide an overview of Ennead’s success in creating architectural identities for important cultural, civic and educational institutions and in enhancing the quality of civic space across the city. The studio—known around the world for their ability to transform complex programs and physical spaces into welcoming, memorable places through a highly collaborative design process—has left a marked imprint on the cultural landscape in New York City, their home base. From an iconic performance venue that represents the epitome of musical excellence to a defining landmark in the Meatpacking District and a media complex that becomes its own billboard along the highway, the firm creates highly expressive buildings that engage and inspire, while serving as anchors within their communities.


003_bylawrence-sumulong for OHNY consideration

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Thursday, March 10, 2016
9:00 AM

The recent re-design of the public spaces at Jazz at Lincoln Center creates a spatial experience that celebrates this vital cultural institution’s mission to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. Join Ennead partner Molly McGowan and Minh Kim Tran to explore the elegant new Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium and the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, and take in sweeping views of Columbus Circle and Central Park.




84 — Final Photography — Interior;

Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall & Stern Auditorium

Thursday, March 17, 2016
6:00 PM

Tour Carnegie Hall, one of the world’s most iconic performance venues, with Ennead Architects associate Charles Brainerd to learn about the firm’s work on the restoration of the renowned Stern Auditorium, as well as Zankel Hall, a new state-of-the-art performance space created directly below Stern following the excavation of 6,300 cubic yards of bedrock. Determined largely by acoustical requirements, this new multi-use venue is a rectangle within a canted ellipse, with the curved structural walls dramatically reinforcing the hall’s individual identity by separating the performance space from the historic building envelope.




NYTimes Printing Plant OHNY ©Jeff Goldberg_Esto

New York Times Printing Plant

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
6:30 PM (Shuttle) 7:00 PM (Tour)

Located alongside the Whitestone Expressway in Queens, The New York Times printing plant acts like a giant billboard for the nation’s newspaper of record. Immediately legible, its dynamic volumes, saturated colors, supergraphics, and uncommonly employed materials dramatize the printing process within. Join Ennead architect Amy Maresko to explore the plant’s design, which recomposes the typical industrial shed into a series of dynamic building forms.

Note: Transportation for this tour will be provided by shuttle from a nearby subway stop in Queens. More information upon registration.




Standard Hotel, July 2009, Location: Manhattan, New York Architect: Polshek Partnership

The Standard, High Line

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
4:00 PM

Surely one of the most recognizable new landmarks along the revitalized High Line, The Standard is made of two materials—glass and poured-in-place, board-formed concrete—that serve as an interpretation of the character of New York City, with the gritty quality of the concrete contrasting with the refinement of the glass. Explore the hotel with Ennead Architects associate partner Jarrett Pelletier to learn about how carefully selected materials throughout create a dynamic mix of public and private spaces that reflect the dynamism of the surrounding district.




Image credits: Jazz at Lincoln Center © Lawrence Sumulong; All others © Jeff Goldberg/Esto


If there is an architectural expression of New York’s current obsession with food, it is the food hall. Combining elements of the enclosed public markets of the 19th century with the food courts of the 1970s, today’s food halls constitute, as one writer observed, “the most significant development in restaurant real estate this decade.”

Open House New York invites you to explore the design of today’s food halls to consider what they can tell us about how we eat–and live–now. Food hall tours of Eataly, Berg’n, Le District and Gotham West this winter, will explore the design, function, and management of these spaces as part of OHNY’s year long series The Final Mile: Food Systems of New York.

Learn more on The Final Mile Blog.


The Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema features a spacious two-story atrium that doubles as a community space and screening area. (Photo: Barbara Eldredge c/o Brownstoner)

Open House New York’s Monograph in Motion series was created earlier this year to celebrate the work of New York design firms that have made significant contributions to shaping the city’s built environment, and to consider how the work and ideas of those firms evolves over time and in different projects. This past fall, the second installment of Monograph in Motion explored the work of Dattner Architects. With more than a hundred design awards, Dattner Architects has shown a deep commitment to democratizing great design since its earliest days and tours of three projects provided an overview of the firm’s extraordinarily broad range: from the city’s first public graduate film school, to a new affordable and supportive housing project, to the first new stop added to the New York City subway in more than a quarter-century. Across all three projects, the team at Dattner demonstrated that it looks at constraints and complexities not as a hindrance to great design, but as the source for inspired solutions.

The tour included a stop in the new set shop, where students will be able to build full-scale movie sets on-site.
(Photo: Barbara Eldredge c/o Brownstoner)

At Brooklyn College’s new Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, for instance, the team had to fit “everything you need to make a movie, from concept to credits,” into one and a half floors of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s historic Building One (aka Building 291), according to Dattner Architects principal Daniel Heuberger. As Heuberger explained, that included soundstages, set shops, classrooms, a motion-capture studio, screening rooms, and a host of other facilities, many of which required special flooring, insulation, and building systems to prevent sound vibrations from traveling between rooms—or even entering the building from the surrounding city.

“Ours is an office of generalists,” Heuberger told the group during a post-tour presentation in one of the school’s sleek new screening rooms. (Photo: Barbara Eldredge c/o Brownstoner)

Once this was all accounted for, the team found themselves with considerably less space than they had originally anticipated, forcing them to get creative. The resulting space, however, feels anything but cramped. Entering the school from the elevator bank, one steps into a soaring, two-story atrium organized around an inviting staircase that enables the dramatic, airy lobby to double as a screening area. The entire facility is rendered in white, black, and cool grays, with supergraphics of blown-up film noir stills. “We took inspiration from old black and white films, for the color palette,” explained Dattner associate Maya Maxwell. “The color comes from people using the space.

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A model of the building illustrates the unique profile created by the wedge-shaped lot along the subway tracks.
(Photo: Open House New York)

At CAMBA Housing Ventures’ 97 Crooke Avenue development in Flatbush, the architects were presented with a very different, if equally challenging site. The wedge-shaped lot, formed by an uncovered subway trench for the B and Q trains that cuts diagonally through the neighborhood, required a more complex layout than a standard rectangular lot would have. The constant rumbling of the subway also presented challenges for this residential project, especially given CAMBA’s dedication to providing the highest quality housing for its tenants, a mix of low-income and formerly homeless individuals. As CAMBA’s President and CEO, Joanne Oplustil‬, told the tour group, “If I can’t live in the unit, nobody can live in the unit.”‬

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Countertops manufactured by Icestone in the Brooklyn Navy Yard were chosen for 97 Crooke’s communal computer room for the way that they reflect and distribute light, helping to brighten the basement room. (Photo: Open House New York)

Once again, significant constraints led to the building’s signature feature. The building’s elevator core was sited along the subway trench, allowing it to serve as a buffer between the bulk of the residential units and the trains. The resulting diagonal wall, a majority of the building’s street facade along Crooke Avenue, was transformed by Dattner principal Bill Stein and his team into a “tapestry,” drawing on the terra cotta and red, yellow, and cream toned bricks of the other apartment blocks in the surrounding neighborhood.

Dattner’s Catherine Selby discusses how the building’s residential units were designed to maximize limited space.
(Photo: Vanni Archive Architectural Photography)

Of course, constraints aren’t always physical. “Our firm does a great deal of of public work, and [having a lot of stakeholders] is expected. Not just for infrastructure projects, but for housing now, too, since funding comes from so many different agencies,” explained Dattner principal Beth Greenberg. “Things that may look very simple have input from right, left, up down…everywhere! Any architecture in the public realm is very likely to have a lot of layers.”

A brightly colored mosaic mural by artist Xenobia Bailey, commissioned by MTA Arts and Design, soars over the entrance to the 34th Street-Hudson Yards station. (Photo: Ben Helmer for Open House New York)

Greenberg was speaking not of 97 Crooke, but of the 34th Street-Hudson Yards subway station, the brand new terminus for the 7 train on Manhattan’s West Side. The physical limitations of working on a subterranean site are obvious; what was most impressive here was the way in which the architects had taken scores of rules and regulations from multiple agencies and crafted a space that felt light and airy, given the fact that it is located so deep beneath the city streets. Finishes and fixtures were chosen to amplify light, allowing the project to meet requirements for minimum brightness while also meeting energy efficiency standards. Striking architectural forms and public artworks made possible by the city’s Percent for Art program were deliberately placed to enable “intuitive wayfinding,” using design to minimize the need for signage by helping people to easily navigate the series of underground spaces.

In the station, architectural elements are used to enable intuitive wayfinding, with minimal signage.
(Photo: Ben Helmer for Open House New York)

Greenberg and her colleagues were also working against the psychological limitations presented by the fact that most New Yorkers take the experience of using mass transit completely for granted. Normally, making your way to the train is hardly an experience worth paying attention to; this belies the subway’s status as one of the city’s most impressive technological innovations. At 34th Street, the Dattner team created a sequence of spaces, each of which—from the first escalator tube, to the fare collection area, to the subway platform itself—is visually distinct from the last, while still feeling like part of an integrated whole. Together, the progression through these spaces subtly highlights the complexity of the system, encouraging thoughtful commuters reason to consider and appreciate the modern marvel that is the New York City subway system.

It may be more than a hundred feet below street level, but the station is brilliantly lit throughout.
(Photo: Ben Helmer for Open House New York)

It is estimated that each year over 150 million people pass through transportation projects by Dattner, and tens of thousands have lived in the more than 13,500 units of new and renovated housing that the firm has designed. Dattner Architects’ commitment to improving the civic realm through great design has been fundamental to the firm’s practice since founding principal Richard Dattner started in 1964, and New York is a transformed city as a result.