The architect for this project was commissioned by owners of a newly purchased third floor loft space in a 19th century historic building in Traverse City’s thriving downtown district. The project’s clients purchased exactly 1,000 square feet of the existing 3,000 square foot third floor with city views and large historic south facing windows. The design goals were to create an efficient residence that showcased the local brick found on the existing walls as well as emphasize the lightness created by the large windows and high ceilings. The client’s were downsizing from a previous large residence with the goal of efficient living through maximizing the limited square footage of the loft space. The program of the residence was simple; a tiny and efficient one bedroom residence with a loft above for working, a small guest bath and laundry facilities. The architect sought to include all of the built elements into a compact, well functioning set of walls capped by a single floor / ceiling which would become the loft accessed by a decorative stair. The remainder of the residence was to be very open and provide space for living, dining and kitchen functions.
The clients were interested in a design reflecting modern European sensibility and materials that incorporated a large heirloom mirror. This inspired the architect to pursue the idea of lightness and illusion. The large mirror became a centerpiece of the dining room and doubled as a hidden doorway to a pantry concealed behind the laundry room. High clerestory glazing within the space also allowed the natural light from the south facing windows to penetrate into the residence.
The significant design element in the space most rewarding to the architect was the decorative stair accessing the loft. The stair was set near the entry foyer and represents all of the materiality and style found within the residence, acting as a beacon to visually draw the eye into the living spaces.
The clients enjoy the materials and aesthetic of the overall project and if asked to choose a favorite it would be the stair and loft. This represents the materials and clean design the clients were requesting. Additionally the stair also offers access to extra floor space in the small loft above the entry. This loft allows the homeowners to operate a home based editing business as well as provide space for occasional visiting family members to sleep.
An unknown element in the space is an old fireplace hearth which was abandoned many years past. This was uncovered during early demolition. Once a determination was made the fireplace was no longer safely suitable for fires the decision was made to conceal it behind the kitchen cabinetry.
The project design began in August of 2009 with construction beginning in November of 2009, and the project construction was completed in March of 2010. The project represents a new generation of downtown residents in the Traverse City area. This is a significant departure from the cottage lifestyle generally found in Northern Michigan. The positive impacts of this residence along with several other new residential projects in the downtown have been felt throughout the area. One of the challenges to the design and construction was to ensure adequate soundproofing in floors and walls. The importance of privacy was still a high priority for an urban style project. The clients were interested in hearing city sounds and life on the street below, but not their neighbors.
The architect for this project was commissioned by owners of a newly purchased third floor loft space in a 19th century historic building in Traverse City’s thriving downtown district. The project’s clients purchased exactly 1,000 square feet of the existing 3,000 square foot third floor with city views and large historic south facing windows. The design goals were to create an efficient residence that showcased the local brick found on the existing walls as well as emphasize the...
- Year 2010
- Work finished in 2010
- Status Completed works
- Type Single-family residence / Interior Design