Rafael de Cárdenas converts New York firehouse into tech startup incubator

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Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

Rafael de Cárdenas converts New York firehouse into tech startup incubator

A+Awards: New York architect Rafael de Cárdenas took home an Architizer A+Award for the renovation of a 19th-century firehouse, which was turned into office space for young technology companies.

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

His firm Architecture at Large overhauled the building's five storeys to house offices of various sizes, able to accommodate small startups in executive pods, four-person private spaces, and open offices.

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

"These multiple scenarios support a diverse range of start-up teams and allow for flexible groupings as companies come and go," said the studio, which is known for its colourful projects like a neon installation in Miami and a menswear store in Cape Town.

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

As well as designated working areas, the office also includes bleacher seating, a roof terrace and a back courtyard.

These spaces can host informal meeting and group presentations, providing opportunities for tenants to interact with each other.

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

The building is entered through a pair of glass doors, which feature transparent panels set within chevron-patterned frames.

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

The corridor beyond is lined with small glazed units that are minimally furnished. In the larger rooms elsewhere, glossy desks and ample wooden shelving boxes are provided.

Lighting fixtures zigzag across the ceiling, while desks are further illuminated by copper pendant lamps.

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

"Wood panelling is juxtaposed with graphic fluorescent lighting to create a refined but energetic and creative environment," said the studio.

On the exterior, the facade is painted dark grey to contrast with its neighbours.

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

Black Ocean Firehouse was completed in 2013 and won in the Office Interiors category of the 2016 A+Awards.

Organised by Architizer, the awards promote and celebrate the year's best projects and products.

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

Their stated mission is to nurture the appreciation of meaningful architecture in the world and champion its potential for a positive impact on everyday life. Find out more about the A+Awards ›

Black Ocean Firehouse by Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large

The deadline to submit projects for the next A+Awards has been extended to 27 January 2017. Enter the 2017 A+Awards ›

Photography is by Floto+Warner.