Lauren Buckheit

Document Type

Thesis Prep




Fall 2013


Market, Brooklyn, Place, Buckheit




Historically, market and place had continuity. Market was defined by place - a commercial program shaped by its surrounding social and cultural environment.1 Market was realized at the overlap of commerce and religion, markets and feasts; all were interrelated. However, as we switched to a consumption based economy the coherence between the two diminished. Markets no longer were shaped by the surrounding micro-cultures, but by temporal consumer trends. When assessing current branding strategies this separation between market and place is also apparent. In one instance, market branding includes creating corporate identities through product, image/semiotics, and built form. This brand identity does not address place, but is sculpted to exist anywhere and everywhere. Its brand is universally iden tifiable. Yet, its consumer environments, when compared, are undiscernible. Conversely, place branding strategies are concerned solely with place and its many identities. Place branding involves reassembling , repositioning, and reformulating the identities of a place to produce a succinct image to the public. 2 As Zukin states, "it is now within this tension of market and place that new [architectural] brand development must be established".3 The estab lishment of such an architectural brand development has the capacity to reintegrate market and place. Within this integration new approaches will emerge that accomplish commercial pursuits cohesively with place based issues. The site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, one that is currently at the interface of the public and private realm, is a rich local to hypothetically demonstrate this reintegration. The Brooklyn Navy yard is a 300 acre, water-front site, located in Brooklyn, NY, along the East River. Established in 1801, the site was home to one of the nation's first five naval shipyards. During its peak in World War 11, the yard employed as many as 70,000 men.4 After WWII however, the shipyard was sold off and left largely vacant from the 1980's forward. Today however, the site houses a large industrial park, with initiatives underway to transform the yard into an innovative hub for new industry. So far, 334 tenants, ranging from small design manufacturing firms and entrepreneurial startups to large fi lm studios, own space in the wharfs.5 Thus, a rebirth of design and manufacturing is presently occurring in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. However, it is occurring within the closed walls of the yard, at a bu ilding by building renovation basis. The entire function of the yard is being reconceived, but its new identity is internalized within separate warehouses, dispersed throughout a 300 acre site. In order to transform the Brooklyn Navy Yard into an element for economic and urban development, the yard needs to be rebranded as a holistic identity to the city - not only redefining BNY's market identity as a new manufacturing hub, but place branding it as an integrated commercial/ civic network that reconnects with its surroundings.


Syracuse School of Architecture

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