ODA turns high-rise building upside down with 100 Norfolk residential tower

ODA turns high-rise building upside down with 100 Norfolk residential tower

New York plots can often pose a serious challenge to architects. Squeezed and narrow, with strict zoning and massing requirements, it’s not always easy delivering a client’s brief – particularly when its a series of airy, contemporary residences set in a modern, tall building. But if you’re NYC-based architecture firm ODA – of 123 Melrose, 1040 Dean St and Bedford Hotel fame – you turn the conventional high rise on its head; welcome to 100 Norfolk.

This residential development, created between Delancey and Rivington Streets on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for Adam America Real Estate, is a tall building with a twist. The architects designed it as an inverted stepped volume, where the base is narrow, but the the outline widens as the height increases, becoming its most generous towards the top – providing plenty of light and space for the coveted top apartments.

When Eran Chen of ODA was called upon to propose a solution for the site, while researching local planning regulations and the surrounding area he uncovered an interesting fact. There were some ‘11,000 square feet of unused air space ripe for construction above the adjacent buildings’, he explains. By transfering the nearby structures’ air rights – which allowed the architects to work on 100 Norfolk’s finely chiseled form and extend cantilevered floors over the existing neighbouring buildings – the architects were able to include more units exactly where the building gets the best light and optimal views, in a gesture towards a more balanced distribution of space and sunlight within the scheme.

100 Norfolk is built in glass and steel, with curtain walls wrapping around the main frame, so as to create bright interiors and allow for far-reaching views for the residents. The scheme comprises 38 homes, which range from studios to three-bedroom apartments. The interiors are clean and minimalist, leaving space for the striking vistas to take centre stage. Meanwhile living spaces are matched by a series of amenities, such as a gym, yoga room, extra storage and two terraces for the residents – one of which sits on the building’s roof, rather fittingly for this development which is all about making the most of what you’ve got.§

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