Domino Sugar Refinery

  • Brooklyn, NY

  • Contractor Two Trees Management

Office Building with Public and Retail Ground-Floor Uses

Domino Sugar Refinery used to be a “beacon” in Brooklyn’s skyline. This 1880s historic industrial building is returning to life as a modern office space and it is supposed to become the nerve center of a new working waterfront. Indeed, the practice James Corner Field Operations – who has transformed the High Line – aims at seamlessly reconnecting the wide area surrounding Domino Sugar Refinery (known as Domino Park) with the neighborhood to the waterfront and turn another abandoned site into a popular destination.

The Domino Sugar Factory will be clearly visible throughout the site, and an “Artifact Walk” will display salvaged factory machinery, original columns, and crane tracks. The park will open ahead of many of the buildings in the Domino Sugar Factory complex.

PAU design has an innovative approach to this refurbishment, by nesting a brand-new building into the existing envelope, with a 10- to 12-foot gap between the new and the old. By pulling back from the original walls, ideal and standardized floor heights can be achieved, creating best-in-class office space that is designed to meet the needs of new tenants. The array of historic windows, uninterrupted by interior partitions, reveal expansive views of Manhattan while allowing the extant structure to be appreciated in an unobstructed form. The light and airy perimeter provides a unique experience and enhances natural light penetration into the core. Rising above and in celebration of the historic structure will be a new glass barrel vault, echoing the American Round Arch Style and the singular muscular form in which the original Refinery was rendered.


  • Unitzed system with DGU vision glazing, side hung windows and vertical painted aluminum fins

  • Curved unitized system with DGU vision glazing and painted aluminum fins

  • Curved Stick system with fritted DGU glazing and painted aluminum fins

  • Opaque units with zinc infill panel



Founded by Vishaan Chakrabarti, FAIA FRAIC, in 2015, PAU is both an emerging and an established global practice. With a team of twenty, our network of experienced collaborators, all in PAU is inspired by the desire to palpably and positively impact the world. They are fluent in multiple languages: speaking architecture, culture, ecology, economics, academia, urbanity, government, and, perhaps most importantly, they speak the language of democratic public process, because the complexities of the projects designed demand no less.