Adaptive Re-use of Bronx Icon into Community Center

The Kingsbridge Armory building is a beautiful example of early 20th century industrial architecture. The Armory has been vacant for over 15 years now. Many steps have been taken to re-habilitate and revitalize the space, but nothing has been able to effectively wake up the neighborhood’s Sleeping Giant.

ORE was hired by Young-Woo & Associates to design the adaptive re-use of the largest armory in the world, the Kingsbridge Armory into a vibrant community center and marketplace.

We envisioned a place to meet, play sports, eat, dance and have fun, but also to work, do business, and organize events. The grand structure can provide a space for people to have their own market stall, creative studio space, workshop or office all under one roof.

At the newly renovated Armory you’ll find Mercado Mirabo. It will be a center of culture for the Kingsbridge Heights area. The project will be anchored by a sports training facility, weekend marketplace, local restaurants and stores along with three 40,000sf tenants including a multiplex theater. There is also 30,000 square feet of community space, as well as 10,000 square feet of incubator space, designed to create an environment that will foster young businesses and creative professionals, promoting a locally based creative economy. The marketplace will showcase the international diversity of the Bronx’s food and arts.

The revitalized Headhouse at Mercado Mirabo will become an iconic gateway. Restoring the beautifully pro – portioned 1910’s façade and opening the drill floor to the public, the Headhouse will open on to a grand pedestrian thoroughfare, with direct connection to the 26,000 square feet of small-format restaurants serving a wide variety of food, with an emphasis on Latin cuisine. There will also be many local small retailers, which, together with the restaurants, will provide many permanent local jobs.  This is meant to be space that can be reserved for lectures, presentations, community board meetings, and permanent community service providers. These will further establish Mercado Mirabo as a hub for community activity.



Client: Youngwoo & Associates
Program: Community Hub
Area: 600,000 sf