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West 18th Street / ODA

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Recently, we shared ODA’s honorable mention proposal for the National Library of Israel which fosters an open haven for learning and activity.  The New-York based firm is also working on projects a bit closer to home in Manhattan that approach zoning restrictions with an air of optimism.  ODA explained, “We embrace those parameters (zoning ordinances) and use them as the DNA of our buildings. If carefully studied, NYC’s zoning allows for many interpretations that follows logical principals.” More about the residences after the break.

For the residential building in Chelsea, ODA was confronted with the city’s regulations pertaining to a crafting a continuous street wall, and obeying a set back requirement established at a certain height, while also taking into consideration an outer court rule that prevents recesses in the facade. Seeing these regulations as a starting point for innovation, the firm designed an operable metal screen that meets the street wall requirements, and keys into the Dormer rule that allows a certain amount of floor area to encroach into the setback line.  That space is then used to enhance the layouts of the upper floor, create more residential outdoor spaces and articulate the building line  to illustrate its freedom.

The operable metal screen offers a textured three dimensionality to an otherwise flat planar surface.  The simple manipulation of the screen breathes life into the building as residents may adjust the screen to their liking – whether to shield from the harsh southern light, or to remove the barrier to the outside by opening a small outdoor space at the building’s front edge. “We are eager to make complex things simple, provide creative and progressive solutions to common problems and empower our fellow New-Yorkers,” explained the architects.

Cite:Karen Cilento. "West 18th Street / ODA" 21 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/265508/west-18th-street-oda/>