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3 Building Designs More Creative Than Your Average Condo

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The interdisciplinary design firm Studio Dror may have its roots in product design, but as it grows, the firm has been experimenting with building larger. Although principal Dror Benshetrit isn't an architect, he's been tapped by two developers to design proposals for New York City projects, and has also branched out with a conceptual design for a Fifth Avenue skyscraper. "How do you create a tower that is not just introducing a different type of glass—a tower that really pushes boundaries in one way or another?," Benshetrit asked Dezeen. The answer for Benshetrit is, in part, the studio's proprietary QuaDror geometrical exoskeleton, which allows the firm to flesh-out interior spaces that aren't inhibited by structural supports. The firm used the technology in a design proposal for Michael Shvo's 100 Varick Street, as seen above. Although Renzo Piano's proposal was chosen as the building's final design, Benshetrit's building is still an exercise in innovation.

↑ Developer Sonny Bazbaz asked the firm to design a residential building for 350 Bowery, a lot currently occupied by a small garage at the corner of Great Jones Street. What Studio Dror came up with is a stack of independent boxes that levitate atop stilts. The stilts are rooted in a ground-floor retail space enclosed in glass. In Dror's own words,

350 Bowery consists of three curiously stacked glass volumes, each thoughtfully sized to align with its neighbors: the base of the top and middle units follow horizontal planes formed by the roofs of adjacent buildings, kissing each structure's northeast edge in a gesture of respect. A forest of columns elevates the residential units to achieve this connection, creating an outdoor sculpture garden that offers glimpses of the surrounding environment. Anchored by a retail space at street level, 350 Bowery is a new typology of building that lets the existing locale determine its distinctive shape. Dezeen reports that Bazbaz shied away from purchasing the lot, indefinitely thwarting the development.

↑ Studio Dror continued to think about different ways of building towers with their conceptual design for 281 Fifth Avenue, a site at the corner of 30th Street where a 52-story Rafael Viñoly-designed tower will actually rise. Dror's concept is a 1,000-foot-tall tower oriented in a pinwheel shape with four quadrants. The layout allows three of the apartments' four sides to be free, and used in impressively thoughtful ways. Via Dror,

Of the remaining three glass walls, one faces the adjacent unit's wet wall, which doubles as a projector screen: real-time imagery of the environment directly behind the wall can be projected there, seamlessly connecting with existing views to provide an increased perspective. The wall can also be used as a surface to view other media, or switched off completely. The building's small base would bolster views in the apartments as well as lighten the tower's street presence. Too bad that design's just a concept. It sounds pretty neat.
· Studio Dror [official]
· Studio Dror's conceptual tower designs for New York offer three takes on high rise architecture [Dezeen]

100 Varick Street

100 Varick Street, New York , Ny