We design “As of Right” buildings. We are not looking to create monuments but to divert the perspective of dwelling and over time influence the city. Our immediate context has a powerful impact on our wellbeing and we have the power to shape that context. We design our city while our city designs us back. As Steven Johnson said “our thoughts shape the spaces that we inhabit and our spaces return the favor”.
The power of the NYC architect is continuously reduced to the surface of things as buildings are dominated by numerous rules and regulations. Consequently, architecture becomes less about the fundamental qualities of living and more about the iconic expression. At ODA we always strive to rearrange these priorities and put people first. We strive to crack the surface and explode the content allowing more interaction and more surprises.
Jane Jacobs’ dream of life on the intimate scale of Greenwich Village’s streets is fading as population density increases and forces us to build vertically. ODA is in search of the best practices to develop a new paradigm that infects vertical living with the human and social qualities of the low scale housing formulas. We believe that our quality of life need not be compromised for the privilege of being in NYC.
The future is now, and is expected to be influenced by primal truths. The extensive study and decoding of the human body brought the revolution against the industrialized and a desire to return to nature through technology. Our designs are meditating this condition envisioning spaces that satisfy 3 human needs: the desire to observe wide perspectives and reach beyond boundaries, the need for protection and intimacy and the beauty of transition between in and out.
At ODA we cater for these ideas through a transitional territory we call “the vertical village”. By exploding the traditional NYC block, we find voids, gaps and open spaces that are shared by their communities and create accessible private and public spaces where social life is generated and the relationship with nature reinstated. Most of our buildings have greater usable outdoor space than the building’s footprint, apartments have more perimeter wall per sf than the average and spaces are not shy to look at each other. We call it “unboxing NYC”.
We work within the system to exploit the system. We utilize its nuisances to create value which by its nature can be replicated again in another form. We believe in the synergy between architect and client and the inclusion of as many parameters as possible. Our studio is a horizontal plane, we all share the same space and all opinions are heard. We design from the inside out developing form driven by the relationships between people and their activities. Our buildings look different because they each function differently.