Unique spaces need pragmatic solutions to make them functional for modern living. In Tribeca, a historic neighborhood in downtown Manhattan, a long, linear slice of real estate located between Broadway and Franklin Place was given the green light for high-rise construction, yet faltered with its original developer when it came to apartment layout. Seeing this challenge as an opportunity to establish a new architectural typology, we worked within the zoning parameters to create street-level distinction and interior efficiency.
ODA first defined Franklin Place, a one-block alley just west of Broadway, as a street by setting the building back 30 feet and forging a front plaza. Using cantilevers as tools to cover the adjacent building, 5 Franklin’s long form was condensed to create a shorter footprint with more organized apartment layouts. To counteract the building’s modern appeal in a neighborhood of old world aesthetics, Tribeca’s cast iron craftsmanship is reinterpreted with handmade basketweave brick that features curved details and expresses a similar scale to that of its pre-war neighbors. An ancient material that lends itself to timeless design, the brick used here resembles the depth and decorative character created by cast iron facades and their articulated columns. Like the century-old buildings that surround it, 5 Franklin’s windows enjoy incredible height and depth, yet unlike it’s low and mid-rise counterparts, it’s stature provides open views from nearly every vantage point.
Residents now fill 5 Franklin in living arrangements from one-bedroom lofts to five-bedroom, double-height duplexes. The solutions presented by ODA did more than resolve developer challenges, they carved out a contemporary architectural niche in a neighborhood known for historical context.
Location: 371 Broadway, Manhattan, NY, USA
Client: El-Ad Group
Size: 113100 SF
Team: Eran Chen, P. Christian Bailey, Kris Levine, Elizabeth Snow, Keith Burns