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66 floors high in a New York supertall, there’s nothing but net at this open-air basketball court

<i>Gabriel Saunders</i><br/>The Brooklyn Tower architects have unveiled renderings of its Sky Park
Gabriel Saunders
The Brooklyn Tower architects have unveiled renderings of its Sky Park

By Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

(CNN) — On which basketball court can you get the most air? Brooklyn’s latest addition to the New York City skyline, the Brooklyn Tower, is offering its residents those bragging rights.

The 93-story, 1,066 foot-tall residential building in Downtown Brooklyn — which is the borough’s first supertall skyscraper — unveiled the first look at its forthcoming Sky Park to CNN, a space on the building’s 66th floor which will include a basketball court, dog run and children’s playground. At 629 feet above the ground, they will be the highest facilities of their kind in the Western Hemisphere, according to the building’s developer, JDS Development Group.

The amenities, which will open in 2024, are located on a floor that would conventionally be left empty to reduce the building’s sway, according to the architecture firm behind them.

“These wind floors are performative,” explained Gregg Pasquarelli, founding principal at SHoP, on a video call. “We took advantage (of the space).”

Since the Sky Park is a covered, open-air facility, it will likely be best enjoyed outside of the coldest, windiest days of the year. Still, Pasquarelli noted that “hardy New Yorkers” will be able to play on the court “most of the time.”

It’s not the first noteworthy basketball court Pasquarelli and the SHoP team conceived — from 2010 to 2012 they designed the borough’s world-famous Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, just over a 10-minute walk away.

“We definitely took cues from how we designed the Barclays Center,” Pasquarelli said, noting that the two courts’ “vibe” and color palettes share similarities, but that the Tower’s design remained true to the visual influence of the landmarked 20th-century Dime Savings Bank, which is now part of the Brooklyn Tower. (Another amenity the supertall touts is a rooftop pool that extends around the bank’s dome, also set to be completed next year.)

JDS Development Group purchased the then-decommissioned neoclassical bank in 2016 for $95 million  in order to convert it into ground-floor retail space adjacent to the supertall, which began construction in 2018. Residents of the Brooklyn Tower began moving into the $750-million building earlier this year, while its amenities and finishing touches remain under construction.

The building has had a striking effect on the borough’s architecture, from its soaring height to its bold exterior of fluted black stainless steel. (In May, the New York Post quoted one nearby resident comparing it to the ever-looming stronghold of Sauron in Lord of the Rings.)

Without neighboring towers crowding the area, Pasquarelli says the views from the Sky Park and Lounge unparalleled, including sweeping vistas of the Manhattan skyline as well as the Atlantic Ocean a few miles away.

“On a clear day, the ocean is right there. It feels like a waterfront property even though you’re far away,” he said.

In the Sky Park, residents will be able to relax, walk their dogs, or dunk against a backdrop of New York City landmarks from sunrise to sunset. Time to make friends with a resident, if guest passes are available.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the floor number of the Sky Park in Brooklyn Tower.

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