Made in Opa-locka












What is a developer? Is it just someone with a bulldozer, a dumpster, and a rendering of unbuilt houses attached to a chain-link construction fence? All over the United States, during the recession, people have been turning vacant lots into community gardens, and profiting from their development efforts. This project asks how a community space can be made from a vacant, foreclosed, or abandoned house; how people living in a neighborhood and frustrated by the stagnation of an empty space can fill it. By low-cost architectural interventions and minor stabilizations of deteriorating buildings, making a series of abandoned or condemned houses habitable and open for public use, formerly vacant sites may be newly populated. A house may be turned into a neighborhood gallery, a meeting space, a marketplace where small businesses may sell goods, a planning office, an employment office, or even an “artist hotel” offering temporary housing to out-of-town visitors to the community who have come in to participate in the project. Development is not limited to for-profit projects, and profit is not limited to corporations.

Bonner / Stayner
Studio Bonner, Atlanta
Project Made in Opa-Locka
Location Opa-Locka, Miami, Florida US
Client Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation
Project Manager Germane Barnes (Miami)
Team Colin Lienhard, David de Céspedes, John Guinn, Leanne Drake, Robert Michel, Ainsley McMaster