Located in downtown Brooklyn, Dekalb market is an open-air market and gathering space that brings together makers, entrepreneurs, chefs and artists. Encompassing an incubator farm, an event space and a collection of eateries and work-sell spaces, the project transformed an inactive brownfield eyesore into a thriving community of small businesses. The market occupies a stalled construction site, so it is designated for interim use. Responding to this prerequisite, ORE conceived of a series of spaces on the 43,000SF site defined by shipping containers modified into storefronts. Specifying salvaged material was one of ORE's strategies for managing the cost of the project; ultimately, the total built cost was roughly $30/sq ft. These containers can be moved into place and joined rapidly, efficiently capitalizing on the potential of the interim site, transforming it with a generative program.
This program includes 65 storefronts, with retail shops, 8 restaurants, and 2 dj booth/record stores. Because this is a new typology, ORE was onsite continually during construction, leading the building team in realizing their design. We oversaw all facets of the build-out. Over the course of just 6 weeks, ORE supervised the purchase, transportation, and onsite placement of 86 shipping containers. We directed the fastening of the containers to each other, the electrical service installation, and the cutting and welding required to transform the containers into storefronts. The result is economic opportunity to cultivate Brooklyn's creative entrepreneurs. Through outdoor place making and juxtaposition of uses, Dekalb Market is both a gathering and exhibition space – not just for products – but also for the intangibles of culture, education, senses, and ideas.