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Messana O’Rorke

Regions Served

  • Boston & New England
  • New York City & Mid-Atlantic
  • Pacific Northwest
  • San Francisco & Bay Area
  • United Kingdom

Founded in 1996 in New York City, the collaborative studio is a dynamic and evolving practice with a commitment to the inherent value of design to enhance the quality of life at all levels of exposure. the nexus of design, contemporary culture and current technology is the constant focus of our endeavors, from research driven investigations to realized projects. an interdisciplinary practice, Messana O’Rorke practice has resisted becoming specialized in any particular aspect of design, and actively seeks new design challenges. Brian Messana directs teams of professional and talented individuals in projects both in the United states and internationally. the firm invests its creative energies in a broad range of residential, commercial, institutional and theoretical projects, with a scope that varies from furniture and functional products, to interior architecture and the built environment. Collaboration is the essential component in Messana O’Rorke’s relationships with clients, they focus their experience, expertise and imaginations into realizing the unique aspirations of each project beyond its expectation.


store front loft: an unforgiving block in the far east of the east village prov 7
Store Front Loft: An unforgiving block in the Far East of the East Village provided the location for a unique living space for an alternative couple and their collection of art and contemporary furniture. The harsh streetscape of public housing and a neighboring tenement squat, melt into oblivion upon passing through two large steel doors into the new apartment, where another architecture has been established. Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
angel&#8\2\17;s edge: the space of the house is derived by the “sect 8
Angel’s Edge: The space of the house is derived by the “sectional” differences between the lowest and highest levels of the site. The house reflects the three principle sectional conditions of the site; the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Coast Highway, and the sloping site. The design is developed in both horizontal and vertical section. The vertical section is the mechanism, which defines and controls the apertures [windows and openings] through which views and passage are attained. Photo: Afeel3d
tank house: a tree house perched high in a city of towers and skyscrapers. the  9
Tank House: A tree house perched high in a city of towers and skyscrapers. The tank house was conceived as the quintessential retreat, a room for reading, relaxing and listening to music. Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
skin care lab: given a \2000 square foot rectilinear soho loft with a twelve fo 10
Skin Care Lab: Given a 2000 square foot rectilinear Soho loft with a twelve foot ceiling, in which to develop a complex project, the design was generated from a simple concept. Individual functional spaces would occupy the perimeter, creating a central volume, which itself would be dissected by a central axial wall dividing clients from service areas. Minimal details, sensual simple forms, ethereal intimate lighting, and masculine materials. Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
savage house: a remote rural site along the taconic creek, a tributary of the h 11
Savage House: A remote rural site along the Taconic Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River prompted this exploration of the relationship between house as a man-made object in the landscape and the country house as an escape from the manmade, which uses culture to maximize the experience of nature. Photo: Hypertecture
perry street: located in the neighborhood of the west village this dejected apa 12
Perry Street: Located in the neighborhood of the West Village this dejected apartment had nothing to recommend it except for location. Everything was sad, banal and dreary, so was removed, rethought and replaced. Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
jones residence: located in a classic bing and bing prewar building in greenwic 13
Jones Residence: Located in a Classic Bing and Bing Prewar building in Greenwich Village the apartment was beautifully laid out, but down at heal. The kitchen and bathroom were the focus of the work, because neither had been touched for at least forty years, but the renovation work eventually extended throughout the apartment. Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
box house: on a rise overlooking dunes and salt flats on the shelter island sou 14
Box House: On a rise overlooking dunes and salt flats on the Shelter Island Sound the site is almost ideal, its impediment are its suburban feeling surroundings to the South East. The design developed out of a need to obscure these neighbors and a desire to create a minimal weekend retreat from New York City. Photo: Afeel3d
axis theatre: the existing basement space has been used as a cabaret and theatr 15
Axis Theatre: The existing basement space has been used as a cabaret and theatre since the 1920’s. The space was the first home of Cafe Society, which is where Billie Holiday, Lena Horne and Zero Mostel performed during the 1930’s and 40’s. Cafe Society was downtown New York’s first integrated club; “the right place for the wrong people”. By the late 60’s the space had become Sanctuary and was a venue for Jimmy Hendrix and other musicians of his day. Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
the wall house: the wall house is conceptually a house as described; a massive  16
The Wall House: The Wall House is conceptually a house as described; a massive concrete wall, which divides the public realm from the private house beyond. A single opening in the wall provides access to the habitation, which conversely is based on a simple box with glass walls. The wall is a metaphor of a medieval rampart and is also a natural billboard, where shadows of trees and clouds race through daytime and moon lit nights.
charles street: built in \1853, on the site of a stable in a vernacular greek r 17
Charles Street: Built in 1853, on the site of a stable in a vernacular Greek Revival style, 130 Charles Street was always a modest house in the heart of the bustling dockside of Greenwich Village. The house’s broad four bay front belies its’ shallow depth and rhomboid shape in plan. For most of its history the house was a multi occupancy building either as a rooming house or as tiny studio apartments, in the 1980‘s it was converted into a single family home. Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
55th street photo: elizabeth felicella 18
55th Street Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
blair o&#8\2\17;brien photo: elizabeth felicella 19
Blair O’Brien Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
ehrens loft photo: elizabeth felicella 20
Ehrens Loft Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
dorsinville no. \1\2t photo: elizabeth felicella 21
Dorsinville No. 12T Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
weinstein loft photo: elizabeth felicella 22
Weinstein Loft Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
vanalstein and shein photo: elizabeth felicella 23
Vanalstein and Shein Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
9th street photo: elizabeth felicella 24
9th Street Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
villanueva residence photo: elizabeth felicella 25
Villanueva Residence Photo: ELizabeth Felicella
allen and kalb photo: elizabeth felicella 26
Allen and Kalb Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
charlton street photo: frand oudeman 27
Charlton Street Photo: Frand Oudeman
barrow street photo: elizabeth felicella 28
Barrow Street Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
Messana ORorke portrait 3 29
10th Street
dorsinville no. 7e photo: elizabeth felicella 30
Dorsinville No. 7E Photo: Elizabeth Felicella
apple orchard house 31
Apple Orchard House
Messana ORorke portrait 3 32
Island House
lafayette noodle bar 33
Lafayette Noodle Bar
Messana ORorke portrait 3 34
lafeyette street office building 35
Lafeyette Street Office Building
sunshine and hope elementary school 36
Sunshine and Hope Elementary School
Messana ORorke portrait 3 37
Peace Pentagon
Messana ORorke portrait 3 38
40 x 40 39
40 x 40
Messana ORorke portrait 3 40
Cross House
kohler koch photo: paul warchol 41
Kohler Koch Photo: Paul Warchol
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  • Brian Messana


  • 223 East 10th StreetNo. 12New York, NY 10003T 2128071960 | F 2128071966

Coverage on Remodelista & Gardenista