TYLin provided structural engineering services to transform a warehouse on the New Jersey waterfront into creative office space.
Kearny Point, a 130-acre former shipyard that is often described as New Jersey’s answer to Brooklyn Navy Yard, is an ongoing development that will convert maritime warehouses into modern office and commercial spaces.
The project team inserted a second story into the 400’ x 100’ former warehouse to double its leasable square footage. To ensure that natural light permeated both levels, the firm’s engineers removed about 4,000 square feet of floor plate from the center of the second floor, creating a long rectangular void under the building’s reused sawtooth roof and newly uncovered skylights.
Minimal columns and long-span joists up to 50 feet in length contribute to an open floor plan. TYLin also improved building circulation by inserting two feature stairs: a 30-foot-long single-span stair that only uses end supports, and a scissor staircase suspended from an existing gantry crane. The scissor stair leads from the annex atrium to a 50-foot-long connector bridge. Three additional bridges crisscross the central second-story void on diagonals.
This project also retrofitted the structure to meet modern energy codes for offices, replacing the clerestory dormer windows with high-performance polycarbonate and reinforcing perimeter walls with insulation. Movable partitions provide flexibility for anchor tenants who may need additional space over time. The annex’s interior spaces are now well-suited for their use as creative offices.
Image credit: Garrett Rowland courtesy of STUDIOS Architecture