This project is located in a redeveloping zone of Long Island City. The area was formerly zoned for light manufacturing purposes but as of the last few years conversions have occurred for Artist in Residence spaces. City Planning authorities, realizing this, revised the zoning to allow mid-rise multi family housing. The district is very much influenced by the artistic nature of the residents and by the loft-like character of the buildings. The goal of the new construction was to reinforce this reference while adding the comforts normally associated with a high-end residence. From an urban planning perspective, the building was to join together the diverse uses of adjoining sites, which include a park, historic low rise single family townhouses and loft buildings and much taller residential towers. Almost all of the apartments participate with the outdoors through the use of balconies, terraces and gardens. Townhouse units are located on the ground floor along with access to a shared lobby. At grade parking is provided in the rear of the building.
The building is six stories tall and therefore lends itself naturally to the use of a precast concrete structural system. Precast concrete planks are supported by masonry bearing walls and form the floors and balconies of the 47 residences. Floor to ceiling windows span between the precast components with the concrete plank exposed at cantilevered balconies. Masonry bearing walls are clad in a precast concrete block that is reminiscent of the split-face limestone and granite often used on neighboring historic manufacturing buildings. These blocks were specified in a blended color, and laid in bands of alternating depth, to create movement and rhythm over the completed wall elements. The texture of these precast blocks allows the building to seamlessly fit into the surrounding historic fabric, whilst providing a striking counterpoint to the light machine-like metal infill panels adjacent.
A 47-Unit Condominium Apartment building was designed to reflect the artistic and loft-like nature of the area in which it sits. Precast concrete block bearing walls and precast concrete plank allowed the architect to creatively and affordably achieve their design goals.