Vertical HERO of The Amberly

The Amberly

A Periscope into Manhattan Rises from the Brownstone Vernacular of Brooklyn

This 37-story building is the firm’s first tower in North America. The large-scale, mixed-use development resides at the intersection of some of New York’s fastest-growing neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn. The form, materiality and open spaces were designed specifically for the scale of Downtown Brooklyn, the creative ambiance of DUMBO and the material character of brownstone Brooklyn. Comprised of 270 apartments varying from studios, one-,two-, and three-bedroom units, tenants have access to retail, commercial and below-grade parking areas and a fitness center. The pattern of the warm terracotta-colored façade was determined by the building’s uses. Opaque panels cover the bathrooms, while the living and dining areas are flooded with natural light through floor-to-ceiling vision glass, as well as those expansive views. Some of the apartments have terraces—a luxury for such a dense city—as well as rooftop access.

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A primary design challenge was how to determine the best way to associate the glass façade of the office building with the residential tower to its east. As a result, an eight-inch metal fin at each mullion was painted to match the terracotta of the residential tower. These fins act as a screen between the residential units and the office interiors but also unite the massing of the office and residential sections through their shared color palette. In addition, the fins add depth to the façade, whose appearance changes as you walk past – textured and solid from an oblique angle but transparent when aligned.

Rather than keeping the valuable high floors for private penthouses, as is common practice, the client and design team decided to create community spaces at the top of the building. An expansive lounge and dramatic terrace on the 33rd floor, The Overlook, is available for all tenants to enjoy. A second residents’ lounge is on the ninth floor.

Access to the building is either via a dedicated drop-off on the north side of the building, leading directly to the underground parking, or via a lush public plaza on the south side.


AmTrust Realty




Brooklyn, New York

Completion Date



33,000 square meters; 355,000 square feet


2018 USA Property Award for the Americas – Mixed Use

The form, materiality and open space is sympathetic to its downtown Brooklyn location.

The building viewed from the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Amberly_Facade Massing

The mixed-use site is located at the intersection of three merging neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn.

The office building covered in a glazed façade runs along Jay Street.

Echoing the brownstones apropos to Brooklyn, the exterior is clad in a terracotta hue.

The vehicular entrance to the north that leads into the ground floor lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows illuminating the neutral palette set against a charcoal backdrop.

The Overlook is a communal area with luxe finishings providing views to the Hudson River.