One Great Jones Alley | 688 Broadway, NY

Studio Christine Jetten was appointed to design a custom glaze for the vertical terra-cotta facade fins, looking for a distinctive artistic quality.
PROJECT INFORMATION
One Great Jones Alley is a 12-story mixed-use residential development in NYC’s NoHo Historic District. Its primary façade on Broadway features an innovative terracotta screen that honors the rich masonry and cast-iron traditions of its context, yet is unabashedly modern. The custom glaze and asymmetrical form of the terra cotta are an expression of modern craft reinventing this historic material.

"Our façade was designed to not only present a uniquepresence on the street but to be experienced at close range from inside everyunit. The material , both brick and terracotta had, therefore, to distinguishthemselves up close as well as at a distance.  We wanted both materials toshow character, the marks of their crafting.  We worked with ChristineJetten to develop our glazes and we worked with brick suppliers to provide uswith available bricks that could work well on the face of the building, as wellas be economical for the side and rear."

https://bkskarch.com/work/1-great-jones-alley/

Design process

"This is one of the cutting edge projects in the city and around the world. Our process was one of continuous sampling to understand the potential for the glazes and how they would match up with the various bricks available.  Terra Cotta finishes are affected, as we learned from Christine, not only by the recipe also by how the glaze is applied, how thickly it is applied, how they are fired  how they cool down from being fired.  We reveled in the variegated quality of the finish up close and treasured those slight abnormalities produced by a handmade product. We were interested inproducing a design that spoke of  contemporary craft and timeless materiality.”

George Schieferdecker

regular meetings at BKSK's office

The artistic sensibility is what Christine brings to the project. We found a contemporary way by letting the facade express itself as terracotta, with the imperfections as a natural given in the terracotta production process: collaborating with what the production requires, using it for its opportunities rather than restrictions. There are strict parameters and a lot of freedom. We found a way to harness this for the facade. It has been a fascinating process, working towards something very unique.

George Schieferdecker
BKSK Architects, partner
One Great Jones Alley | 688 Broadway

"I want to reach out and touch this building". Landmarks preservation commissioner.

Awards
American Architecture Prize, Winner - Architectural Design / Residential Architecture
2015

Other projects