Oculus - Fall 2016 - 33

©Rob Stephenson A s the Financial District staged a comeback from Midtown in 1964, developer Samuel Rudin made history by commissioning a Modernist tower from Emery Roth & Sons at the corner of Wall and Front Streets, the first privately sponsored office building on Wall Street since the Great Depression. In 2016, the same 28-story tower, ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, completely gutted and repurposed, again made history, this time as the prototype of a new "social building" typology for small-footprint, high-tech urban living centered on "communitydriven" experience. WeLive is the residential platform of WeWork, a shared workspace startup begun by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010, now valued at some $16 billion. The 300,000-square-foot flagship at 110 Wall Street is the first building completely occupied by the company, with cowork floors two through six topped by 21 floors of co-living. Perfect site for co-living The project took shape in 2013 when Darrick Borowski, Assoc. AIA, and Rik Ekstrom, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, partners in ARExA (silent x), were offered space at an early WeWork site. Observing young, mobile entrepreneurs who didn't want to be tied down by long leases suggested to McKelvey that WeWork's advantages might have a residential counterpart. He asked ARExA to translate the underlying principles of coworking to co-living. The flooded, abandoned building at 110 Wall Authenticity + Innovation: Architecture Repurposed emerged as a test site. "Office buildings typically have deeper floor plates than residential buildings, so we had more space to play with in the dark center of the building," says Borowski. "We relished the inefficiencies and used them to our advantage. The WeLive concept is perfect for the reuse of old office buildings." In repurposing the building, the "infrastructure needed to be completely redesigned and adapted, not just for the new user, but to withstand the next Sandy and be truly resilient," adds Sital Patel, AIA, LEED AP, principal of S9 Architecture. "Research and brainstorming sessions with WeWork/WeLive led to creative solutions within the building, whose new uses could have never been imagined by the building's original architects." Three diminishing floorplates (16,000 to 10,700 to 6,600 square feet) offer 22 apartment types, from studios to four bedrooms. In the compact units everything folds down, up, or out, like a Swiss army knife. In studios, a Murphy bed hinges down from the wall onto a built-in sofa to extend over a height-adjustable coffee/work/eating table; no rearranging is necessary. The largest apartments, about 1,000 square feet, have separate bedrooms with real beds, but the most common units, six per floor, are 450-square-foot hybrids designed to be shared. Each includes a Murphy pull-down and an alcove bed inspired by traditional Swedish cottages, where beds are set into cubicles and protected for warmth and privacy by a front curtain. The notion of tucking a bed into the wall proved a breakthrough for the design team, and led to their concept of a modular program-loaded party wall that organizes each living unit. Instead of bulky freestanding furniture, all apartments have sound absorptive casework carved into the walls. Even the smallest units impressively answer a major complaint about New York apartments: insufficient storage. The neutrally colored apartments are "inviting but not precious or industrial," Borowski says, basically providing "a clean slate" that occupants can personalize with interactive pegboards and pin-ups on felt or cork wall panels. Most living units have a corner kitchen zone with an induction stove top, microwave, and full-size refrigerator/freezer (everything needed for take-out and frozen foods). The luxury of an unusually large bathroom somehow decompresses the otherwise tight quarters. "Walk in and start living" "Small spaces feel more livable and less cluttered when they're organized," explains Quinton Kerns, senior WeLive designer overseeing the rollout of 110 Wall. "It's all very clean and pared down, just like the lifestyle of members who live here." The fully furnished apartments are equipped with basic kitchen utensils, dishes, towels, linens, and art. "All you have to do is walk in and start living." In selecting an apartment configuration, residents also have limited choices: for example, whether to use a particular module as a built-in desk or as additional storage. In general, options are greater in the upper floors, where lessons learned are implemented, as the whole is an incubator for new ideas and ways of doing things. Among the experimental concepts in development are hotel-like accommodations for overnight stays. The prototype is evolving. The typical month-to-month lease includes a $125 fee for cleaning, utilities, Internet, and cable connection to a standard 55-inch television. All units have operable windows and ceiling fans, occupancy-triggered climate control, and WiFi-connected speakers. The high-tech environment is controlled by a smartphone app that accesses housekeeping and services, activities, personal profiles, and social networks - even finding a compatible roommate. In developing the prototype, ARExA investigated monasteries, dormitories, communes, kibbutzim, Soviet Social Condensers (constructivist attempts to influence social behavior through the design of public spaces), and particularly failed public housing in the U.S. to learn about perceived ownership of communal spaces. The team studied urban sociologists like William "Holly" Whyte and Jane Jacobs before adopting a strategy of three-floor vertical neighborhoods. Each Fall 2016 Oculus 33

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2016

First Words Letter from the President
Letter from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Authenticity and Innovation
Civic Purpose Repurposed: Brooklyn
Civic Purpose Repurposed: Bronx
A Study in Contrasts
WeLive on Wall Street
A Preservation Paradox
Industrial Strength
Innovation Rooted in History
In Print
97-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Fall 2016 - cover1
Oculus - Fall 2016 - cover2
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 3
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 4
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 5
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 6
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 7
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 8
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 9
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 10
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 11
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 12
Oculus - Fall 2016 - First Words Letter from the President
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 14
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Letter from the Editor
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 16
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 17
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Center for Architecture
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 19
Oculus - Fall 2016 - One Block Over
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 21
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 22
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 23
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 24
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Opener: Authenticity and Innovation
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Civic Purpose Repurposed: Brooklyn
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 27
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Civic Purpose Repurposed: Bronx
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 29
Oculus - Fall 2016 - A Study in Contrasts
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 31
Oculus - Fall 2016 - WeLive on Wall Street
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 33
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 34
Oculus - Fall 2016 - A Preservation Paradox
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 36
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 37
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Industrial Strength
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 39
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 40
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 41
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Innovation Rooted in History
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 43
Oculus - Fall 2016 - In Print
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 97-Year Watch
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 46
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Last Words
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 49
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 50
Oculus - Fall 2016 - cover3
Oculus - Fall 2016 - cover4