This 24-story mixed-use building embodies the challenges and risks in developing an urban site with neighboring tall buildings, a tight zoning envelope, and a mid-block location with limited light, air, and access. The owner and developer, Bernstein Real Estate (BRE), wanted to bring the highest and best use to an empty lot that they owned, which had been being used just for parking, as well as expand their portfolio to include residential programming with a focus on energy efficiency.
The site was adjacent to a building also owned by BRE, which depended on windows installed right on the lot line as the only source of daylight for scores of offices. Therefore, the initial challenge that ZH Architects had to tackle was developing a floor plan and a building section that preserved the majority of the neighboring property’s windows while creating apartment layouts that would meet current market demands.
The design they developed preserves this daylight at the upper floors of the existing building by creating an intentional gap between the facades of the new and existing buildings. To maintain the privacy between existing commercial and new residential tenants, the east façade of the new building was not punctured and the south- and north-facing façades of the new building were designed with ample glazing. Read the full article here.