BAM South Tower – 300 Ashland Place / 2016

ArchitectTEN Arquitectos

Executive ArchitectIsmael Leyva Architects

The new Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) South tower is a 32-story mixed use project in Downtown Brooklyn. The project includes rental apartments, retail space, and 50,000 ft2 (4,650 m2) of space for cultural activities including a new branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The stepped topography of the building plaza additionally provides a venue for outdoor film screenings, live performances, and farmer’s markets.

The tower is wrapped in a continuous folding skin articulated into 14 large geometric facets of unique orientation and tilt. These facets are then subdivided into mega-panels, resulting in parallelogram units, each with unique fold geometries and inclinations. Additionally, dynamic horizontal and vertical incisions are carved into the building mass creating further geometric complexity and unique system interfaces. The panelized primary facade consists of an aluminum composite rain screen over metal stud panel wall construction with inset punch windows and incorporated air conditioning units. Contrasting highly transparent window wall systems are incorporated at the balcony and incision locations.

Front initially worked as a consultant on behalf of the developer, Two Trees Management, providing an evaluation of the project geometry, system typologies, interface conditions, and resulting fabrication challenges. Based on the value of this assessment and tight the project schedule Front was subsequently contracted by the panel wall contractor to help develop the panel wall system, building modeling, and fabrication and assembly document generation.

In order to manage the large number of unique conditions and subtly complex geometry, Front produced fully detailed 3-dimensional models of the entire facade system and developed a custom 3-d modeling workflow to automate material take-offs, shop drawing generation, and ultimately the production of fabrication G-code files for the over 7,000 panels on the project, delivered straight from Front’s model to the contractor’s CNC machines . Finally, this detailed comprehensive model could be used to QC panels as they were produced, as well as assess and correct any in-field adjustments throughout construction.