architecture on the flip side: ODA's inverted urban tower at 100 norfolk

architecture on the flip side: ODA's inverted urban tower at 100 norfolk

for a long period in human history, architects have constructed upward with the general rule that as you increase the vertical, you’re going to have to decrease the horizontal. but ODA decided to break this implicit rule after managing to construct a building that does the exact opposite. ‘100 norfolk’ has a cleverly designed truss that allows the floors to cantilever over the previous ones as the tower rises. the ODA design team points out its similarity to an inverted skyscraper of the 1930s, from which the designers derived inspiration. 

100 norfolk
all images and video by imagen subliminal (miguel de guzman + rocio romero)



the reasoning behind the scheme is simple — the base of most buildings, where fresh air and sunlight are diminished and street noise abounds, are not ideal for living; therefore ODA figured it would be a waste to construct a large base, and rather decided to build the upper floors in larger dimensions. in total, the building rises 12 floors and a total of 120 feet, with 50,000 square feet of space for various apartments inside.’100 norfolk’ is fit into a narrow lot between delancey and rivington streets. its rectangular site would normally dictate a fairly standard form instead of an upside down pyramid.

100 norfolk



the architects took into account elements such as context and the needs of its community and balanced this with the qualifications imposed by the city’s zoning code. any building requires finesse, but to build one like this requires a kind of sixth sense for navigating the various restrictions and regulations. ODA was able to challenge the architectural convention.

100 norfolk

100 norfolk

100 norfolk

100 norfolk


project info:


gross square feet: 50,000
gross outdoor square feet: 7,800
height: 120’ | floors: 12
amenities: 670 sf gym + terrace lounge
number of units: 38 (st: 2, 1bd: 19, 2bd: 13, 3bd+: 4)
completion: april 2018

  • Very few projects can be defined as unique, this one extremely well done on all levels. My sincere congratulations to the team….

    yves rathle says:

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