A/D/O was a design institute commissioned by MINI / BMW as an incubator for design innovation and entrepreneurship, centered on issues of urban livability and mobility. Inspired by our client’s aspiration to actively encourage the cross-pollination of ideas, our design was guided by the principle of remixing. Rather than simply dividing the existing warehouse space into zones for different activities, we created fluid connections between work, restaurant, event, and retail spaces.
When we rehabilitate post-industrial sites, an important goal is to create strong visual connections across old boundaries. At A/D/O we sought to remix our interventions with select aspects of the existing factory in unexpected ways. A triangular section at the southwest corner of the building was removed, replacing an opaque facade with full glazing that makes activities inside visible to the neighborhood. An interior public space fluidly opens onto the restaurant and courtyard.
A/D/O was open from 2016 to 2020, a much shorter life than originally envisioned for the project. It hosted over 400 events, including rotating art installations and educational symposia and lectures by many global leaders in design fields, such as Alice Rawsthorn, to Yves Béhar, and Laila Gohar. Beyond the building’s physical presence, A/D/O contributed to the field of design research and writing through its online journal and ambitious research initiatives investigating critical issues of our time.
Seeing an opportunity during demo, we built A/D/O’s new apertures using original graffiti-covered bricks, fondly naming our invention “remixed graffiti.”
At the center of the open lobby space, a large kaleidoscopic periscope reflects both the Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines, joining them into a single horizon – a remixing at an urban scale that incorporates the macro context of the city into the space.
We removed the roof from a portion of the existing warehouse, creating an open-air courtyard to host installations by international artists and designers.
Client: A/D/O – MINI/BMW
Location: Greenpoint, NY
Sq Footage: 23,000sf
Program: Creative hub with work space (public + rentable), maker space, restaurant, and retail
Environmental: Adaptive re-use
Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Ammr Vandal, Amanda Morgan | David Mora, Thomas Heltzel, Daniel Katebini-Stengel, Gabrielle Marcoux, Kyong Kim
Collaborators: Client: MINI | Structure: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger | MEP: OLA Consulting Engineers | Civil: AKRF | Lighting: Lumen Architecture
Photography: Frank Oudeman, Geordie Wood