From ship part machine shop for both World Wars to high-tech hub, Building 128 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard now has a new lease on life after a long run of abandonment. New Lab, the brainchild of New York developer Macro Sea, now provides a collaborative center for designers, manufacturers and fabricators to come together to forge a new path for high-tech design and prototyping.
The 161,000 square-foot building, formerly a “cathedral” of ship manufacture, housed tens of thousands of workers in its heyday. Marvel Architects worked with Macro Sea to design a space that paid homage to its history, while also taking technology to the forefront.
“In designing New Lab, we rejected industrial fetishism, iPhone-isation, and tech 4.0,” said Macro Sea design director Nicko Elliott. “We took an archaeological approach to futurism in creating a dignified space that reflects the ingenuity and integrity of the people working in it.”
Facilities include offices, private studios and lofts, as well as shared amenity spaces like lounges, communal worktables, advanced prototyping shops and meeting areas.
“As developers and designers of the space, we were very attracted to this particular community, which is simultaneously at the top of its intellectual and technological game, while looking into the abyss as entrepreneurs,” said Macro Sea founder and New Lab cofounder David Belt. “We wanted to build for them.”