In the heart of SoHo, the latest project from developer DDG has started to reveal itself to the neighborhood. Marketed under the name XOCO 325, the nine-story, 21-unit residential condo and retail development at 325 West Broadway is built on the site of a former chocolate factory. Tapping into the site's history, the development's name integrates the Catalan word for chocolate, xoco.
Earlier this week the project shed its construction scaffolding, unveiling its signature cast-aluminum facade. Referencing the historic neighborhood's cast-iron facades, XOCO 325's screen floats above the future ground floor retail space and creates a space for vertical gardens in front of the glass window wall. The design of the screen evokes the imagery of bones or joints. Burlap was integrated into the formwork at the street facing side of the screen, providing a unique pattern for each unit. On the opposite, unit-facing side of the screen, an imprint of a worker's hand was CNC milled into the formwork to provide further texture.
Residents will enter a lobby featuring sculptural walls of plaster and board-formed concrete with floors of bluestone. The equally organic form of the concierge desk is made of in-situ cast-concrete.
A courtyard garden occupies the space between XOCO 325 and the landmarked 25 Wooster, currently under renovation by DDG as well. Continuing the organic language of the facade's screen and the residential lobby, a naturally lit fitness studio of glass and formed concrete nestles into the ground amidst a rolling hill and stone found on site.
DDG's organic language and attention to craftsmanly details extends into the building's 21 residences. Walls often eschew hard edges, instead flowing seamlessly into ceilings. Round edged soffits cut into kitchen ceilings for additional height. A custom designed island in the kitchen integrates the formed concrete found in the public spaces. It is an onslaught of detail in the age of generic buildings that value engineer out such character-bestowing touches.
Once again, the unique structure of DDG as developers that also control design and construction has led to a well crafted building with a unique perspective on form and materials. This site looks forward to DDG's furtherance of the combined developer/architect/contractor model and the potential to influence the status quo in the New York market.
Architect/Developer: DDG; Program: Residential, Retail; Location: SoHo, New York, NY; Completion: 2016.