Eagle + West: OMA's New Zigzagging Towers in Brooklyn in Abitare


Eagle + West: OMA's New Zigzagging Towers in Brooklyn, Abitare, Jan. 2023. 

Two zigzagging towers at the northwesternmost corner of Brooklyn give occupants sweeping panoramic views down the East River, taking in the entirely of Hunters Point South and midtown Manhattan down to the Financial District from the mouth of Newtown Creek. The mirroring of the two shapes, one composed of trapezoidal prisms that step back to reveal outdoor terraces, the other stacked cuboids blocks that cantilever over the gap, effects a parallax as you move along the Greenpoint waterfront. The stacked forms merge and separate like puzzle pieces shaping the horizon, changing the landscape in time with the movement of your body.

Designed by the OMA-NY’s co-director and less-well-known partner Jason Long, the towers belong to an extensive 5,500-unit housing development that wraps around the neighborhood’s northern edge. Long’s reputation is about to grow. “We settled on a strategy of making siblings that would be clearly related but also, in a way, opposites,” Long says. “In the end, that works well to make a singular complex that also is varied, both in the different parts, but also as you move around it.”
The name of the development, Eagle + West, refers to two streets that hitherto dead-ended where Greenpoint pivots around the Newtown Creek and the East River. The two towers replaced the nearby sewage treatment plant’s demolished sludge tank, which stored solid matter to be loaded onto tankers and hauled to the desert in the southwest United States. Once impassible streets now cross in front of the towers, accentuating the sense of flow and movement.