■ For over 25 years Hrefna Jonsdottir’s Gallery framed their artwork in a structure plagued with: poor layout, low ceilings, little daylight + climate control, accompanied by occasional leaks and mold.
Bosco Architects was contracted to design a new frame shop with three overall objectives: provide a comfortable, energy efficient building that organizes the shop’s program, establish a positive neighborly presence, and be sympathetic to the owner’s existing residence at the rear of the lot.
It was known from the start, when attempting to rebuild in a flood zone on a non-conforming lot, many approvals would be required: DEP, D&R Canal Commission, Planning, Zoning, and Building. Anticipating a lengthy approval process with respect to the existing footprint and zoning bulk regulations, the proposed building massing was simplified in form as well as with its side yard setback distances. This design direction would be more sympathetic to the neighbor’s property and would provide access between the structures for seasonal maintenance.
An inbound steel frame allowed for the roof to be structurally independent of the walls. This anticipated a Zoning resolution stating that two of the existing walls would have to remain in order for the owner to rebuild. The existing walls could be properly repaired and braced back to the new steel frame. During demolition, agencies agreed that the existing walls were beyond repair, posed a risk, and could be completely removed and replaced with new construction.
The foundation is designed as a reinforced grade beam vs. a turned down slab. This provided an economical way of protecting the concrete curing during the winter construction. Once the envelope was secure, the finished slab on grade was poured, stained, and protected.
The design incorporates many sustainable features: a flexible open floor plan, scissor truss design to allow for a future mezzanine, ample natural daylight, flexible task lighting trellis, natural ventilation, highly insulated building envelope, high efficient building systems, along with minimal but durable finishes. ■