This project sought to renovate a historical warehouse building into modern loft style housing, while blending into a unique and culturally significant neighborhood.

It features 58 flexible units ranging in size from 580 sq. ft. to 8,000 sq. ft. with varying finish options. The nine story high-rise offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding city skyline. The first level features walk-up garden units with private entrances. Upper floor units feature large balconies and secured floor access. Also included is a fully outfitted fitness center and underground parking.

Design commenced by analyzing the existing building, historic documents and structural integrity to determine what opportunities we had to express the existing structure and elements. The main historic elements identified included exposed concrete frame, rhythm and orientation of existing windows, metal canopy on the north elevation and Market Street brick paving.

Although in rough shape with major thermal bridging, we chose to utilize the prominent exposed concrete frame; restored and repaired. The site walls have been added to provide better pedestrian scale and accessibility. The height and concrete material match the existing concrete loading docks and retails soil on the backside that is used for accessible entries to the first level units. The two additional stories have been detailed to match the existing exposed concrete structure by replicating the bay width and vertical proportions. The two new stories are exposed concrete frame with glass infill similar to the existing seven stories.

With most of the existing building being windowless except for some high transom windows 7’ to 8’ above finished floor and a few double hung windows on the east elevation, new windows were designed utilizing the existing window configuration as a model for rhythm, proportions and height. The new windows have transoms maintaining the lines where the existing windows were located.

Although the large steel canopy on the north was not an original resource to the building, we felt it was an identifiable feature of the existing building. Smaller scale canopies, replicating the existing utilitarian canopy details have been added around the building to provide pedestrian scale and sun control for first level units. New metal canopies around the building above the loading docks likewise reflect the original building design.

The balconies relate directly to the scale of the exposed structural base similar to other buildings in the surrounding neighborhood. The balconies have been detailed with exposed steel to maintain the utilitarian detail of the building. Guardrails which would typically obstruct the view have been detailed with glass so there is always a direct view to the concrete frame.

The two new stair towers have been detailed to match the existing exposed structure by replicating the bay width and maintaining the concrete finish with reveals. The stair towers were originally going to remain in the interior of the building, but the construction and additional reinforcing of the existing structure was a much higher cost than moving the stairs outboard. With the limited floor plates, the additional saleable space was also needed to make the project financially successful.

The site fencing has been designed with utilitarian details to relate to the past use of the building and site. Existing bricks from the original Market Street are used along the concrete walks to represent the former location of the street.

Ultimately the design is respectful of the buildings unique historical heritage and context. It successfully converts a dilapidated building into a significant landmark on the city’s skyline.