Smout Allen

Adrienne Lau BUILDING SURGERY: SoHo Maildrop Centre

129-131 Greene Street, Soho, Manhattan, NYC.

This project attempts to explore the potential of the building conversion genre. A building in the 19th century cast iron district of Soho is selected for its delicate structural nature and historical urban context.

Then as now buildings were designed that pushed their physical limits, aiming to be higher and bigger and these building set the prologue for the skycrapers which came soon after. 

In the design for the SoHo Maildrop the building anatomy is exploited. Cut outs around existing structure make way for new elements and to enable new utility. In order to protect the lightly loaded facade a new truss system is introduced that spans over and through the existing structure. The result is a functioning entity made of machines and spaces: a sinuoid conveyor loop, hoppers and overhead conveyors, gravity rails, a public atrium, a visitors’ glass viewing gallery, corridors of pigeon holes, are all housed in the coexisting old and new building.

Back to Proving Ground 2013