HWKN’s Bushwick Generator is a new office campus that embodies the neighborhood's energy and tradition of disruptive entrepreneurship outside and in. With it, Matthias Hollwich and his team at HWKN designed a bold new building that gives shape to the area's creative spirit and relentless drive, offering a hub for the innovative companies that call Brooklyn home.
Bushwick’s dynamism is rooted in its history as a manufacturing district, so Hollwich chose to keep the light-industrial buildings that existed on site and use them as part of the new building’s foundation. To this base, Hollwich adds a sculptural, gem-like volume in brick that introduces a vertical focal point in the neighborhood and encloses 400,000 SF of state-of-the-art workspace. By maintaining and building atop the existing urban fabric, The Generator injects new life into the context while preserving the distinctive grit that lends the area its character and edge. The result is a new icon for Bushwick that reimagines the neighborhood’s traditional forms and materials in forward-looking geometries, embracing the area’s heritage while paving the way for its future.
The Generator truly is a campus, an amalgam of community, novelty, and authenticity. It is the antithesis of the sterile Silicon Valley office park. To create working environments that are as lively as the exterior form, Hollwich rethought how an office building could relate to its surroundings. Rather than sealing the building off from the neighborhood, the design invites its energy inside with areas for public programming. These spaces can be used for exhibitions, performances, and social events, bringing together office tenants with community members in a bustling center that offers something to tenants and Bushwick locals alike. To further open the building to the street, Hollwich slices a corner off the existing light-industrial structures at the base, creating a striking triangular entrance that continues the faceted geometry to the ground plane and carves out space for a sidewalk plaza. Above, a landscaped outdoor terrace activates the area where the rectangular base meets the vertical gem, offering a unique amenity that can serve as a breakout space, an informal meeting area, or a venue for public events.
Inside, the octagonal floor-plates can be flexibly subdivided, allowing the building to host businesses ranging from nascent startup-ups, makers, and growth-phase companies to established industry leaders. This fosters a diverse commercial ecosystem where companies can collaborate creatively and inspire one another. Throughout, the building’s form generates distinctive interior work environments with 270-degrees of exposure, flooding each floor with sunlight and opening up panoramic views over Brooklyn and Manhattan.