The mitigation of the legal and social complexities affecting this project has greatly influenced the final design proposal both conceptually and formally. While undertaking this challenging task, some very important considerations were made that would later serve as the main principles to follow in future decisions:
Firstly, the design would pay careful consideration to the correct adaptation to code of the current residences, taking measures to dignify those units even further and integrate them within the overall proposal.
Secondly, the formal dialogue between the preserved units and the new residences would provide a contrast that conceptually communicates the intentions of the ownership and design teams to create a unique design respectful with the diverse identity of the area.
And lastly, the materials and proportions in the façade would be inherent to New York City’s traditional architecture and massing, creating a strong solid base at pedestrian level and proposing a glass and steel modern structure to coronate the striking design of the upper levels.
The proposal introduces a clean light upper volume veiled with a delicate double skin formed by horizontal glass louvers; and floating over a sounder base. This solid lower volume is defined by a rain screen system covering the existing brick façade with GRC tiles that create an architectural composition around the current openings.
The interior natural lighting of the Protected Lofts has been respected by articulating two stories of newly built homes around the existing skylights. Elsewhere, the building remains aligned with the main street creating a defined frame around these recessed units, which feature green roofs and wide terraces that introduce a new contrasting language in the harmonious composition.