Text description provided by the architects. This project involves the conversion of a four-story 19th Century commercial building on a tight urban lot to residential and commercial use and the replacement of a non-contributing single story adjacent structure with an infill building for residential use and parking. The conversion consists of 6 residential units (2 per floor) above a 3,000 sqf commercial office space while the new structure accommodates 5 residential units (2 per floor with a full floor penthouse unit) and parking at the first floor. An elevator and egress stairs are shared by both structures.
The infill structure creates a modern, urban aesthetic in contrast to its historic neighbor, although they maintain an important relationship in terms of their scale and floor divisions. The addition opens its interiors to the street with floor-to-ceiling glass and full-width terraces at each of the residential floors, providing panoramic views of the city. An oculus is located at the top floor terrace ceiling. This contrasting and minimalist approach is continued at the interior by exposing the heavy timber framing and refinished hickory wood floors in the existing building and the concrete floor slabs and concrete masonry walls at the addition. The concrete masonry bearing wall provides fire separation and creates a visual frame at the exterior of the new structure.
Numerous building code issues resulting from combining the old and new structures and differing construction types were resolved with localized fire-resistant construction details, shared egress and the use of a limited area sprinkler system. An efficient structural system employs steel bar joists and a composite concrete floor deck spanning between the existing brick wall and the new concrete masonry party wall. Parking access is provided with a one way in, one way out circulation between the street and rear alley using existing curb cuts.
The result is a contemporary building inserted within an historic, urban block and a new residential use in an emerging urban neighborhood.