charlottesville, virginia 2009

Built as a country store in 1924, this two-story commercial building was converted to a duplex apartment in the 1970’s and later modified to an artist’s studio. Now part of a two residence complex, the project completes an existing enclosure; “book-ending” a common green space for play and sport.

Selective demolition of the ground-level shop plan with an eleven-foot ceiling and two-tier living level above was designed for maximum flexibility: public space is open and flowing, private; closed and removed.

The building shell, shop ceiling, storefront, and porch were carefully restored while installation of new systems acknowledge current patterns of habitation and provide for a common-sense energy efficient future. New custom windows contribute additional daylighting and openings into the landscape without compromising privacy.

On a limited budget, this adaptation breathes new life into a neglected historic building while respecting its essential character and surrounding working-class neighborhood.