Apartment blocks, public housing
TRANSFORMATION OF A NEIGHBHORHOOD THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
Essence 144 is a multifamily building located in East Orange NJ which is within the New York City Metropolitan Area. In a neighborhood with declining population and aging built environment, pro-ject goal was to create a desirable living address for millennials through its contemporary spacious living and amenity spaces. The project is a redevelopment of an existing building into a transit ori-ented residential complex with proximity to mass transit and highways. Project scope includes %30 renovation and %70 new construction of additional floors and expansion.
The design of the project takes the static typology of an existing 8 story brick office building to transform it into a more dynamic one through its expansion into a 156-unit, 14 story apartment complex that widens at its center and gently narrows to accommodate views and increase usable residential area. Along the façade, horizontal bands of exterior wall panels thicken at the center and narrow near the edges to create a variety of naturally lit bright spaces. These bands wrap around the existing building to create a mutual coexistence of the distinct architectural identities of the existing pre-war building and the new contemporary addition. These bands are broken up at the edges of the new addition by alternating loft apartments which offer double height fully glazed spaces. The inherit interior architecture of these lofts and their location on various floors create the exterior architectural language. The sloped roof line follows the profile of the topography and serves to hide the mechanical spaces as well as to create a wind barrier for its roof garden.
Additional floors and expansion of the existing footprint, required the existing steel structure to be stiffened and braced for lateral stability. Existing column footings had to be enlarged to accommodate the weight of the additional floors. The new horizontal expansion utilized cast in place rein-forced concrete structure to maximize ceiling heights. Exterior facade is made of prefabricated steel framed walls with cement board exterior faces which then got white smooth finish stucco coating in place upon erection of the exterior panels. Fenestration is made of continuous window wall systems with structurally silicon glazing. All glazing has low iron feature for increased transparency.
Through its unique contemporary design that integrates itself into an existing context, the project achieved to provide unique living spaces to attract a younger generation of residents to its neighborhood. Since its commencement the project has become reference for other developments.
Gross Floor Area (mq)16600
ArchitectsINOA | International Office of Architects
Design teamMurat Mutlu, Harriet Provine, Jin Chen, Zhaoqi Chen, Stephen Zecher, Jacob Wigton, Hailey Beyer
ConsultantsThorton Engineering (Structural), Paul Dennis Associates (MEP), Real Engineering (MEP), Thomas Biro( Landscape Architect) , Frank H. Lehr Associates ( Civil)
Photo Credits Jin Chen
INOA | International Office of Architects was founded by Murat Mutlu in 2010. Our work covers various scales, locations and sectors. We have worked in private, corporate and public sectors. Our specialty is our design philosophy which allows us to work in any scale and typology. Our niche is creating contemporary functionalist spaces. We provide design solutions constrained by contextual and functional requirements. Integrating multiple functions and constraints within a unifying formal system is a way for us to minimize perceptional and physical complexity. This approach enables us to create visually and conceptually uniform and organized spaces or objects. We implement state of the art digital design tools to produce design from conceptual presentations to execution drawings. Collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach is a key part of our design process. This approach allows us to efficiently explore new design territories and create unique design solutions.