B2 at Atlantic Yards

World's tallest modular building breaks ground in New York

News: New York mayor Michael Bloomberg will today lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the world's tallest modular building, a 32-storey residential tower in Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards development by Manhattan-based firm SHoP Architects.

At the groundbreaking, developers Forest City Ratner will display one of the 930 modular chassis that will be combined to build the tower, called B2. More than 60% of the construction will be completed off-site at the Brooklyn Naval Yard before being transported to the site as pre-fabricated modules.

B2 at Atlantic Yards

B2 is the first of three new residential towers planned around the Barclays Center, the 19,000-seat indoor sports and music arena that opened this September. Both were designed by Manhattan-based firm SHoP Architects as part of the controversial Atlantic Yards development, which has attracted criticism from residents over its lack of transparency.

The three buildings will provide around 1500 residential units in total, half of which will be earmarked as affordable housing. B2's 363 apartments are expected to be available for occupancy in summer 2014.

B2 at Atlantic Yards

While developers and city officials hail B2 as the world's tallest modular building, construction is also set to begin this month on a modular tower in Changsha, China, which at 838 metres, or 220 storeys, would be the tallest building in the world – and construction firm Broad Sustainable Building says the tower, called Sky City, will go up in just 90 days.

We reported on the opening of the Barclays Center in September, while back in May we reported on plans for a 425-metre-high skyscraper by architect Rafael Viñoly on New York’s Park Avenue, which will become the tallest residential tower in the US if built – see all our stories about New York.

B2 at Atlantic Yards

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Images are by SHoP Architects.