215 Park Avenue South, 1901
New York, NY 10003
212 962 6307

Domino Sugar Refinery

Brooklyn, NY


Office Building with Public and Retail Ground-Floor Uses


Two Trees Management


Interior Architect of Record: Dencity Works Architecture

Structure: Silman

MEP: Ettinger Engineering Associates

Landscape: James Corner Field Operations

Lighting: L’Observatoire International

Photography: Max Touhey


460,000 GSF



Like the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Industry City, the Domino Sugar Refinery will soon return to life as the nerve center of a new working waterfront. An industrial urban landmark constructed by Henry Havemeyer, the building long dominated both Brooklyn’s skyline and economy. The structure was built to consolidate three functions inside three conjoined buildings—the filtering, panning, and finishing of sugar—that required the use of enormous equipment housed in cavernous, multistory spaces purposefully obscured by the repetitive punched arch windows in the masonry. Although these windows were misaligned across the four facades, together they give the entire structure a singular, monumental appearance, crowned by the muscular smokestack on the west elevation built out of radial brick.

In 2017 PAU started the design for an adaptive-reuse of the Refinery building, intended to be the crown jewel of the new mixed-use neighborhood, according to the master plan conceived by founder Vishaan Chakrabarti, complete with an activated mix of creative office space, market-rate and affordable housing, neighborhood retail, and community facilities. PAU was tasked with creating open architecture that seamlessly connects the existing neighborhood to the recaptured waterfront a quarter-mile long. The result is a state-of the-art, 425,000-square-foot workspace housed within a beautiful, idiosyncratic urban artifact that is unique to post-industrial Williamsburg, offering a singular experience for its inhabitants and the larger community alike.

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Havemeyers & Elder Sugar Refinery, 1876