Home Building Industry HOBI
Award for Best Mix Use Development
Occupying a prominent corner in historic South Norwalk, SoNo Lofts is a four-story, 45,000 sqft mixed-use residential and retail urban infill project. The building echoes the scale, materials, and architectural rhythms of its 19th century brick mill building neighbors, reinterpreting historical details to reflect the more urbane redevelopment of this community.
The client-developer demanded an edgy yet appealing project that would add highly needed housing units to an up-and-coming neighborhood while on an extremely tight budget.
The architect responded with a design that was marketable, cost effective and also served to mend a fragmented streetscape, bridging the gap between the 19th and 21st centuries. 34 apartment units were constructed along with a 42-space parking garage and 2,623 sqft of commercial space at street level.
The building was constructed of steel with composite decking. The exterior is brick and stone along with several kinds of metal sheathing including corrugated aluminum, galvanized aluminum and zinc panels. Oversized industrial-sash aluminum windows create dramatic interiors while brick striping, cast-iron building stars and a dramatic metal cornice add a level of edgy playfulness to the facade. HVAC units were vented to the roof to eliminate unsightly venting on the facade.
White glass fiber-reinforced industrial panels with exposed fasteners line the lobby walls while airport runway lights are some of the industrial-style light fixtures used throughout. The exit stairs feature laser-cut steel plate side enclosure and diamond plate steel treads.
The residential loft interiors are light-filled, crisp and modern, also using simple materials in unexpected ways. Polished concrete floors, track and "jelly-jar" lighting, pre-finished plywood sheathing, stainless steel kitchens and white-tiled bathrooms all maintain a minimalist yet luxurious tone that is both edgy and warm.