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Breaking Lab

Finalist, ONEPrize Competition
with Sasha Topolnytska
Brooklyn Navy Yard

'Breaking Lab' is a proposal to amplify and enable ONElab by affecting the space it occupies within the building, and the city. We recognize that ONElab’s unique collaborative and experimental nature calls for a dynamic workplace in constant search of breakthrough. This proposal seeks not only to accommodate the programmatic needs of ONElab, but also to raise awareness within and beyond the new building of its identity as an innovation hub.

Our proposal works at three scales: the CITY, the BUILDING, and the TEAM with a consistent iconic language which signifies the place, event and people of ONElab. Inspired by the form and structure of the old and new building currently under construction, the ONEhouse shape in translated into a formal language related to each scale. The City scale is a dispersed network of visual identifiers. The Building scale is a social condenser and event venue intended to operate as a focal object within the overall space. The Team scale breaks apart the object into smaller parts meant to accommodate the programmatic needs of ONElab’s collaborative workspace.

Situated in the creative district of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, ONElab is both fortunate to be at the heart of a developing innovation center, and unfortunate to be somewhat isolated from the rest of New York City. We propose a series of wayfinding interventions in the urban context to raise awareness and lead urbanites to the ONElab headquarters. Integrating into the existing patterns and textures of the city, ONEhouse is stamped, tiled and graffitied throughout the city.

In the designated ONElab space, the ONEhouse breaks into smaller parts to meet the daily work and social space needs of the TEAM. These parts form mobile rooms and furniture that can be arranged in different configurations to enable multiple scales of collaboration within the ONElab team. Spread apart, the parts take on individual roles - offices, workspaces, library, kitchen, lounge, amphitheater. Different assemblies allow for different ways of collaborating within the team working environment. The simple plywood frame and infill construction allow for easy customization and flexibility of the space.

Within the new building context, the ONEhouse becomes a destination and venue for all organizations, activities and events taking place. Composed of a stiff frame with fabric panels and curtains, the ONEhouse offers the structure and surfaces for exhibitions, screenings and other events centered around communicating the work of ONElab to a wider audience as well as bringing together the various groups housed in the building. As the heart of the building, the frame becomes its communal living room, a common space for tenants to meet and exchange ideas.

Cargo Collective 2017