Design: GEN Architects - CJ Shumate
Engineer: BK Engineers, Inc. - Bill Berry
Construction: GGC Construction
Originally built as an auto-garage and most recently used as an office, this historic building needed a significant amount of attention when its current owner and occupant purchased it. A quick survey of a rear storage space revealed impressive wood trusses that spanned the width of the building; unfortunately, most were covered by a t-bar ceiling or with layer upon layer of paint. After considering an insulation strategy that would have covered the original fir sheathing and left the trusses painted, it was determined that insulating from above and sandblasting below was more cost effective and aesthetically pleasing. The raw wood is highlighted by new aluminum skylights in every other bay.
However, the challenges facing the building extended past aesthetics. Located between two existing buildings built at higher elevations, the side walls of the building were acting as retaining walls for 10' of dirt. Rather than engage the neighbors on a solution that would have affected their property, a series of tube steel braces were installed to buffer the concrete walls in the rear and the unreinforced brick at the front at the building. In addition, the concrete floor sloped approximately 8" from the front to back and was badly beaten from years of abuse; this issue actually created an opportunity, as hydronic radiant tubing was installed in the new concrete floor to heat the entire space. Cooling was a non-issue as the earth that caused so many structural issues actually acted as an excellent insulator that kept the temperature down, even in warm weather.