Completion Year: 2002
Program: Condominiums, Retail Spaces, Restaurant Space and Parking Garage
Beinfield Project Team: Bruce Beinfield FAIA, Ellen Malmon AIA, Tricia Izzo
General Contractor: A. Pappajohn Co.
Loft 5 contains 10 luxury loft condominiums and 9,500 s.f. of commercial and office space and flanks the 700-space Maritime Parking Garage. The garage serves the general public and visitors to the Maritime Aquarium, one of Connecticut’s largest tourist attractions. The two- and three-story wedge-shaped additions that comprise Loft 5 bring down the scale of the garage and help create a lively streetscape at a prominent intersection of Ann and Water Streets.
A 7-story red and tan striped brick and pre-cast tower reminiscent of a lighthouse acts as the garage’s pedestrian entrance and contains stairs and elevators. Topped by metal brackets and a large glowing octagonal lantern, the tower anchors a new raised plaza that is dominated by a huge decommissioned U. S. Coast Guard buoy. A diagram cast into the colored concrete plaza replicates the compass points that correspond to the site.
The red brick facades in the composition reflect the 19th century mill buildings in the adjoining historic neighborhood, but are detailed in a modern manner. The garage was fabricated using brick set into pre-cast concrete panels for ease of construction, while the Loft 5 elements are steel with brick veneer and pre-cast trim. Oversized industrial sash windows also refer to the locale’s mill-building ancestors while exposed steel lintels and butt glazing at the commercial space storefronts lend a contemporary aesthetic. Individual HVAC units were vented to the roof to eliminate unsightly venting on the facade of the building.
The residential loft interiors are light-filled, spare, and modern. Maple floors, industrial-style lighting, and stainless steel kitchens all maintain a minimalist yet luxurious tone. The floors of the bathrooms are polished concrete, while simple white ceramic subway tile was turned on its end and used to line the bathroom walls from floor to ceiling to give an effect of luxury at a relatively small cost. In the lobby, diamond-shaped zinc panels are applied in an abstracted fish scale pattern, along with bright yellow plywood panels. Lobby floors are polished concrete.