Architecture firm ODA has designed a 700,000 square foot, tiered development as a gathering spot for Chengdu. The team was invited to participate in a new master plan for the city in China, and their design includes a diverse program, from four residential towers to a commercial park of retail and green spaces. As ODA states, the plan is an urban experiment in rearranging priorities for the public realm.
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When reflecting on climate-related issues, measures to take, and innovative technological solutions, one cannot help but think that there are also familiar approaches that should be taken into consideration. In fact, when examining the impact of the built environment on the climate, one notes that in many countries, 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built. The most effective form of sustainability may, therefore, be saving energy by eliminating or minimizing new constructions, and by avoiding the demolition of existing structures.
That is what adaptive reuse stands for: instilling a new purpose on an existing “leftover building.” Nowadays, the refashioning process is becoming essential because of numerous issues related to the climate emergency, plot and construction costs, a saturation of land and a change in living trends.
ODA has won an international competition to create MAZD, a 3 million square feet master plan in Moscow, Russia. The project puts in place a large mixed-use development intended to stimulate industrial zones just outside of the city.
In Brooklynn New York, ODA created new stacked functions for a school for girls in Crown Heights, in a highly dense urban fabric. Starting with a compact shaped cube, the design of the Beth Rivka School merges the benefits and the creative constraints of a vertical building.
ODA New York has been selected as the Design Architect for the rehabilitation of Detroit's iconic Book Tower. Working with real estate company Bedrock, the team will create a mix of residential, hospitality, retail and office space in the tower. ODA plans to update and expand on Book Tower’s programming and existing structures with nearly 500,000 square feet of downtown programming. The restoration of the 38-story landmark aims to create a cohesive civic vision for Washington Boulevard.
ODA New York has been selected to redesign the historic post office of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The iconic Postkantoor has sat vacant for more than a decade, and now the adaptive reuse project aims to bring new life to the city center. Built in 1916, the post office was one of the only original structures still standing after the Rotterdam Blitz aerial bombardment in 1940. The city of Rotterdam hopes to re-energize the neighborhood by activating the site with residential, retail, and hospitality.
Downtown Los Angeles’ skyscraper boom continues – this time straying south to the intersection of South Olive and 11th Street, where developer Crescent Heights has submitted plans for a new 70-story residential tower housing 794 apartment units. Designed by ODA, 1045 Olive is planned to top out at a height of 770 feet, which would make it Los Angeles’ tallest residential building and 4th tallest overall.
Unique to the structure (and fitting for Los Angeles) would be the massive amount of space dedicated to parking: 13.5 total floors would be dedicated to parking spots, including an above ground 8-story core that would be wrapped in apartments to visually conceal the cars within.
ODA New York has released plans for “West Half,” a mixed-use development for the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood of Washington, D.C., that will offer residents views into baseball games at the adjacent Nationals Park. The 11-story building will also feature two floors of retail space and community amenities as it becomes a new visual complement to the neighboring cultural landmark.
Located on the former site of the Rheingold Brewery, the project will act as a “city within the city,” and is modeled after “the quintessential European village,” featuring a meandering system of interconnected courtyards.
New York-based ODA has revealed their design for new residential towers in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood. These three towers, called 416-420 Kent, aim to revitalize the neglected East River waterfront and will introduce a new sense of community, while providing ample natural light and green spaces for residents.
In Mark Foster Gage’s essay “Rot Munching Architects,” published in Perspecta 47: Money, the Assistant Dean of the Yale School of Architecture strove to find meaning in the current design landscape. Taking the essay title from a larger stream of expletives spun across the facade of the Canadian pavilion as part of artist Steven Shearer’s installation at the 54th Venice Art Biennale in 2011, Gage found truth in the vulgarities, arguing that - in a very literal sense - “architectural experimentation has left the building” as the discipline has been made impotent under the hostage of late capitalist ambition.
Last summer, when Brooklyn Bridge Park unveiled 14 proposals as finalists for two residential towers at the park's controversial pier 6 site, you could be fooled into thinking that design is alive and well. A caveat of the park’s General Project Plan (GPP) was to set aside land for retail, residential and a hotel development, in order to secure funding and achieve financial autonomy. The plans had already fueled a decade of legal battles and fierce opposition from the local community, with arguments ranging from the environment, to park aesthetics, to money-making schemes, but last year a bright outcome appeared a possibility, when the park unveiled the competing plans including those by Asymptote Architecture, BIG, Davis Brody Bond, Future Expansion + SBN Architects, WASA Studio, and of particular interest, O’Neill McVoy Architects + NV/design architecture (NVda).
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.