Norwegian Architect in New York

0
1701
Norwegian Architect in New York

Dilapidated districts in New York are given new life by the Norwegian architect Ole Sondresen. The architect has in a few years left his mark on parts of Ditmas Park, a relatively unknown area in Brooklyn. Along the main street there is a “touch Sondresen” behind the doors of more or less every bar and restaurant. Not least when he was commissioned the task of reusing a landmarked former pencil factory in an unorthodox fashion, his design team left the brick exterior virtually untreated, even refusing to scrub away the graffiti accumulated over time. Read more about the Norwegian architect in New York.

Carpenter-turned-architect Ole Sondresen has demonstrated how his sustainable principles guides his design process in New York. Focusing on a collaborative design culture and intensive interaction with clients, engineers, specialized consultants, contractors and craftsmen, his architect studio strives to achieve one-of-a-kind projects that are built to last.

Norwegian Architect in New York
The new Kickstarter HQ in a nondescript industrial block in Greenpoint, Brooklyn was an unlikely choice when it comes to relocating a powerful digital enterprise.

Related:  Spectacular Architecture in the Norwegian Ocean Gap

The new Kickstarter HQ
The new Kickstarter HQ in a nondescript industrial block in Greenpoint, Brooklyn was an unlikely choice when it comes to relocating a powerful digital enterprise. However, the crowd-funding company Kickstarter has not earned its success by following any rule book. And since the building had been gutted by its former owner, Sondresen had the liberty of reinventing many of the interior spaces. He approached the task of adaptively reusing, at least by preservation standards. Rather than bringing the building back in time to its glory days, the architect froze the building in place, treating it as a post-industrial ruin.

The new HQ is located in the Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory Historic District, a complex of eight buildings that was constructed in the 1890s and given landmark status in 2008, a testament to Brooklyn’s industrial age.

Norwegian Architect in New York
Sondresen approached the task of adaptively reusing, at least by preservation standards

Related: Exporting Norwegian Architecture

Reusing materials
Sondresen’s interest in creating an architecture that speaks of a particular place originated in his study of vernacular Norwegian buildings, as well as extensive travels through Europe, Asia and the United States to explore regional building typologies. In the old pencil factory, he created a structural core that also holds many of the building’s mechanical systems, minimizing piping elsewhere instead of opting for traditional floor plates to offer lateral support. This also allowed the creation of a glass-framed courtyard held up by repurposed steel trusses from the roof. The atrium floods most office spaces with natural light, and allows for green spaces on all three floors. All of the plants in the three-tier garden are local and were chosen to provide food and shelter to migratory songbirds.

Norwegian Architect in New York
Architedct Ole Sondresen from Norway

Sondresen set out to repurpose what was salvageable. In addition to preserving the historic elements, such as original lintels, arches and bollards by the front entrance, he used the roof’s industrial trusses to carve out an interior courtyard at the core of the building, enclosing it in glass on three sides and richly patinated Corten steel on the fourth.

Related: Scandinavian ‘Oscars’ of Architecture

Wood plays a major role
As a former craftsman, wood plays a major role in making the untreated concrete structure appear warm and welcoming. All of it is reclaimed from dilapidated country barns or city demolitions, and a lot of it is left raw and untreated. Most of the furniture used in the variety of meeting spaces are either made of reclaimed materials in collaboration with local artisans or were bought second hand.

Norwegian Architect in New York
Sondresen had the liberty of reinventing many of the interior spaces

“Making the window façade out of trusses required less additional structure to be brought in and fewer removals from the site,” says the sustainably minded Sondresen. “We had an engineer ensure that the trusses could hold up to the wind, and then we turned them upside down and on their side, and hung the window wall off that. It’s all been recycled.

Responsible for the birth of many of our generation’s young makers and creators
With more than $1 billion in pledges from 5.7 million donors to fund 135,000 projects, Kickstarter is responsible for the birth of many of our generation’s young makers and creators. With its focus on local, low-impact, and artisan-made materials, Ole Sondresen Architect’s design perfectly captures the global crowdfunding platform’s ethos.

All images © Ole Sondresen

Norwegian Architect in New York, written by Tor Kjolberg

Previous articleArctic Frontiers in Tromsø, Norway Goes Digital 2021
Next articleTop Natural Attractions in Norway
Avatar photo
Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.