“Architecture is ingredients,” architect Ole Sondresen tells us in the kitchen, slicing nuts and radishes. Cooking serves as an apt metaphor for his work, as Sondresen bases his sustainable design on natural ingredients: post-consumer felt, repurposed wood beams, cork and rubber flooring. “You can actually eat this,” he says, holding up a swath of post-recycled denim, used for insulation. “That’s how healthy it is.”
Sondresen’s current project recycles an entire building, in the new Kickstarter offices at Greenpoint’s 1860’s Pencil Factory (currently under renovation). From what we can tell, this means building on top of and around the factory so that it’s nested inside a larger structure, with a wide-open atrium to bring in the light. It’s not what comes to mind when you think factory and office building. “The new New York, the plasticized architecture is greed,” Sondresen observes. “You’ll see these crazy office buildings…they’re disgusting places to work. There’s no good light, there’s no good materials, just a box for people to be in.” It’s why Sondresen belongs in the Avant/Garde Diaries; he’s about to show us something fresh.