ODA Releases Cube-Happy Design to Maximize Light, Air in Williamsburg Building


    What do you think of this unusual design by ODA Architecture for a long-stalled apartment development at 510 Driggs Avenue near McCarren Park in Williamsburg? We’re not crazy about the look of the stacked and cantilevered cubes, but ODA’s functional explanation is intriguing.

    Each of the 100 units in the five-story building will have a balcony or other outdoor space, and at least two exposures for good light and air, the firm told Arch Daily, which first published the rendering. Click through to the story to see a floor plan and other drawings that spell out the details.

    “What if we could live in cities where everyone could enjoy similar qualities of a private house,” the firm told the paper. “We then challenged the zoning rules and regulations and the very common fundamentals and typologies of typical apartment buildings and came up with a scheme that satisfies all of the above. The complexity of the form serves a noble function while also becoming a beautiful piece of architecture.”

    Commenters on the story lauded the design for innovation but questioned whether it can actually be built as shown in the rendering. We’d like to point out that large prewar apartment buildings in New York City typically had similar or even better exposures. Maybe we should revisit those floor plans.

    Real estate firm Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates filed plans for a six-story rental building on this site in 2006, and construction began but eventually stalled during the recession, leaving an unfinished shell that became a “squatter haven,” according to Curbed. Four years later, Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates turned the site into a parking lot, and no new building permits have been filed since. In September, Alliance Private Capital bought the property for $35,000,000, Crain’s reported. It has not yet decided whether the building will be condos or rentals. The 17,500-square-foot property occupies most of a block on Driggs between North 8th and North 9th Streets.

    ODA Aims to Bring “Qualities of Private House” to Multi-Family Housing in Brooklyn [Arch Daily]
    Rendering by ODA Architecture via Arch Daily

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