Sustainable design in a historic context

Set in a 1914 building in a downtown historic district, this adaptive re-use project created a new open-plan LEED® Gold office space for a client whose top priority was sustainability.  Clean lines, abundant natural light, and an open, airy office environment all reflect the owner’s relaxed, community-oriented attitude. Prominent design features include a double-height atrium space on the upper two floors, the use of expansive glazing for transparency and daylighting, and warm, historic, human-scale finishes such as brick walls, wood furnishings, and hand-stamped metal ceiling tiles.

The design preserved more than 97% of the original shell and structure. Providing natural light and a sense of expansive volume on a constrained site challenged the designers to imagine an open floor plan and a sensitive façade strategy. The new storefront and curtain wall use high-efficiency glazing, allowing light deep into the building’s interior. The glazing provides views, maintains the historic building scale, and connects the office with the active streetscape. A double-height atrium also increases natural light, reducing the building’s electricity consumption, and improving air flow.

Set against the rich fabric of historic brick, the interior is populated with customized contemporary furnishings of maple and steel. Bold splashes of red were used as accents throughout its three-storied space. Industrial style pendant lighting on each floor further reinforce the contemporary contrast to the original building. Hand-stamped metal ceiling tiles line the ceiling in the main lobby of the building; reminiscent of a bygone era.

PROJECT NAME: Monteith Construction

AWARDS:  Interiors Award, AIA Wilmington Design Awards