Etsy Headquarters

Architect: Gensler

Owner: Etsy

Location: New York, New York

Project site: Previously developed land

Building program type(s): Office - 100,001 or greater

The largest Living Building Challenge Petal-Certified building in New York City, Etsy’s new headquarters set a new standard for the company. Every design decision was approached with consideration for the long-term health of the company, its employees, the community, and the larger ecosystem. Rather than building anew or occupying a generic tenant space in a corporate building, Etsy chose to adapt a 200,000-square-foot, turn-of-the-century, industrial building in Dumbo, Brooklyn, formerly used as a printing press for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This decision significantly conserved material resources and preserved a valuable cultural resource for the community.

Grand staircase at the entrance which uses re-purposed wood from the old water tower.

"Everything about the inhabitants, the building, and the use of the space are involved in the investment in sustainability as a way of life. This project is a celebration of health and craft and takes an existing fabric and transforms it into something more rewarding. " - Jury comment

The ethic and aesthetic of the design arose directly out of Etsy’s mission and values. The company’s self-description as the “home to a universe of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures,” led to a focus in the space itself on craft and unique artisan products. Local artisans crafted over 750 maker pieces, and over 1,500 materials and products were screened to meet the strict criteria of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) Red List and other standards.

Reflecting Etsy’s mission to “keep commerce human,” the team emphasized health and wellness. The spaces are defined by daylight, views, and connection to the outdoors. Biophilic design principles informed much of the design in its shapes and textures, and vegetation is abundant indoors and out.

Additional information

Project attributes

Year of design completion: 2016

Year of substantial project completion: 2016

Gross conditioned floor area: 198,635 sq ft

Number of stories: 9

Project climate zone: ASHRAE 4A

Annual hours of operation: 3,500

Site area: 41,304 sq ft

Project site context/setting: urban

Cost of construction, excluding furnishing: $30,430,851.80

Number of residents, occupants, visitors: 700

Project team

Architect: Gensler  

AV & Acoustics: Cerami & Associates, Inc.

General Contractor: JRM Construction Management

IT: Technology- TM Technology Partners, Inc.

Landscape: RGR Landscape

Lighting Consultant: HDLC Lighting

Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (MEP) Engineer: AMA Consulting Engineers

Project Manager: VVA, LLC

Structural Engineer: Active Design Group Engineering P.C.  


Robert Berkebile, FAIA, BNIM Architects

Roy Decker, FAIA, Duvall Decker Architects

William Horgan, Assoc. AIA, Grimshaw

Vivian Loftness, FAIA, Carnegie Mellon University

Andrea Love, AIA, Payette

Image credits

Green wall and planters provides indoor access to natural plant life.

Garrett Rowland


Garrett Rowland


Garrett Rowland


Garrett Rowland


Garrett Rowland