STUDIOS and WXY create a flexible workplace in an old New Jersey shipyard that builds on the lessons of yore

In wartime South Kearny, New Jersey, on land that once belonged to the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, some 35,000 workers assembled ships at a quick clip. And not just cutters, cruisers, and gunboats—Federal produced a record number of destroyers over its three decades of operation before shutting down in 1948. “They were able to build a destroyer from scratch in 130 days,” said architect Graham Clegg. “Ridiculous scalability. We talk a lot about scalability in architecture, but the design process would take longer than that.”

Clegg, a principal of STUDIOS’ New York office, also marvels at the gantry buildings in which these

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