Marvel Architects: from rowhouses to the Governors Island Ferry Terminal

Today I was interested in seeing some photos of the State Street townhouses that Marvel Architects designed for Downtown Brooklyn. They are a beautiful reinterpretation of the traditional Brooklyn rowhouse, and could help inspire a new wave of rowhouse construction in that borough. On Staten Island, rowhouses have been constructed in increasing numbers in recent years in more densely urbanized areas like St. George. Unfortunately, they are invariably ugly, cheap and badly designed. In St. George a few hideous rowhouses are sprouting up in various patches of cleared land and there is the potential for many more. Here is an image of some recently built rowhouses. They are awkwardly placed, at odds with the hillside they occupy, with high, narrow stoops that look haphazard and unfriendly. Their style seems to be dictated by what is cheapest rather than what is uplifting and appropriate. Their appearance is saved only by the greenery that mercifully obscures their facades. Marvel, where are you?

townhouse

Compare these to the rowhouses going up in Brooklyn.

While there, I came upon renderings of the Battery Maritime Building (Governors Island Ferry Terminal) project underway now. The renderings are still mysteriously void of detail, and look like ghostly wrappings more than actual architecture, but perhaps that is the aesthetic goal.

The BMB on the Marvel website.

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