Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
A/D/O was founded by MINI as part of the company's own design practice and continued exploration of innovations that improve urban life and will provide a new kind of platform for designers, aiming to foster a broader conversation across and beyond disciplines.
Occupying a former warehouse at the intersection of Norman and Wythe Avenues in Greenpoint, the new space will be open to the general public, combining spaces for events and exhibitions, design education, free communal workspace, a fabrication lab, a restaurant, and a design shop. The building will also host Urban-X, an accelerator founded by MINI and SOSV, which supports startups working on products and services to improve urban life.
Reflecting the role of A/D/O in actively encouraging the cross pollination of creative ideas, nARCHITECTS' transformation of the 23,000sf building was guided by a principle the architects refer to as remixing. According to nARCHITECTS principal Eric Bunge, "This idea of remix - which we applied to both the physical building and its program - involves placing existing and new conditions into varying and often ambiguous relationships."
"Rather than simply dividing the existing warehouse into various zones for different activites, or, on the other hand, creating a continuous and undifferentiated space," says Bunge, "We chose to create variable connections between gastro, event, design, exhibition and retail spaces. Neither rooms nor an open hall, the spaces kind of bleed into each other, allowing people who are curious to see what would normally be going on behind closed doors."
The architects' principle of remix extends to the physical transformation of the formerly opaque one-story building. "Some aspects of the existing building have been maintained," Bunge continues. "While others have been rebuilt in ways that make it sometimes initially unclear which part is new and which part is old. In other places we have sought to create tension or contrast between existing and new conditions or between differerent materials."