Project: B&O Building
Location:  New York, NY

The B&O Building on West 26th Street dates to 1913, when the Baltimore and Ohio railroad constructed the facility to serve as its Manhattan freight terminal.  A narrow,  ten story, concrete structure, the building marked the northern edge of Baltimore and Ohio’s Manhattan freight yard, and even included two internal railroad tracks for unloading shipments.  As originally designed, the warehouse contained 1.75 million cubic feet of space and was billed as the largest concrete structure in Manhattan.

Windigo serves as building architect for this historic structure as part of an adaptive reuse of the facility.  This includes both renovations in keeping with the historic character of the building and contemporary interventions integrating current technologies and fresh design ideas.

The 26th Street lobby is an example of the latter.  Although a simple L-shaped corridor, the space contains three dramatic fabricated elements.  The south and west walls host a set of CNC-milled, backlit panels based on the route map of the Baltimore and Ohio at its largest extent, its grooves naturally leading the eye deeper into the space.  Around the corner, a plywood and leather fabricated bench and wall assembly, its wooden strips abstractly recalling railroad ties, floats in the hallway, providing seating and a transitional zone separating entry from elevators.  This fabrication pattern is repeated to frame the digital building directory near the 26th Street entrance.  The warmth of the wood, along with the engaging digital graphics, transforms the space from a forbidding masonry box into a welcoming entry for the public, a key design goal in humanizing what was once an industrial structure.