Bergamot Station Artists LoftsEdit profile
The Bergamot Artist Lofts were developed as a feature design element in Phase III of the Bergamot Station Master Plan. Located on narrow site within a 45,000 sq.ft. private parcel that was incorporated into the Begamot Station Arts Complex during Phase III, the 14,000 sq. ft. Artist Lofts mixed-use program includes a ground level studio/gallery space with three artist live/work loft spaces above. The project completed construction in 1999 and was realized with a construction budget of $87/square foot.
The fundamental concern in this project was determining how to maintain continuity and coherence with the character of the existing industrial warehouse buildings at Bergamot Station without compromising formal and material innovation. This project evolved as a carefully considered response to its context: a primary palette of materials was established with regard to the existing industrial materials at the site. Corrugated metal, steel and glass blend in with the surrounding context while cold rolled steel and translucent lexan panels create moments of distinction in the details of the building that set it apart and help establish its idiosyncratic identity. The building takes advantage of its unique siting amongst the industrial landscape. Nestled in between existing warehouse buildings on a narrow site, the facade facing the interior of the Arts Complex unfolds along a canted corrugated metal plane that extends into the residual space produced by the adjacent buildings. The facade is animated by steel window boxes and planes that are articulated as volumes unto themselves. These volumes push and pull from the building’s primary structure. The formal geometries and material richness have a dynamic effect on the leftover space--turning what was once an in-between and perhaps, undefined space, into space that flourishes within the greater Bergamot Station Arts Complex. This revitalized space serves as a public courtyard or piazza that can be enjoyed by all and is a premier location with Bergamot Station for outdoor receptions and special events.
The building's south facing facade greets visitors as they approach Bergamot Station along Michigan Avenue. More reserved yet still sculpturally articulate, the formal resolution of this elevation is calmer and more grounded. A flat plane of corrugated metal is broken by pristine rectangular volumes of lexan, concrete block, cold rolled steel and glass which alternately recede and project achieving a constrained yet elegant relief and textural complexity. The exterior of this building never strays far from its industrial origins. While the Artist Lofts thereby maintain a respectful coherence with context, the building also capitalizes on each contextual and formal opportunity in order to create distinction and enhancement within and for the Bergamot Station Arts Complex.
The ground floor of the building features a leasable commercial space organized around an open plan that allows maximum flexibility of use. A separate entrance leads to the three artist loft units above. With a live-work studio environment in mind, these units feature spacious interiors, awash in natural light. Each interior is treated as a simple volume or shell in which distinct elements can more dramatically emerge. Polished concrete floors create a uniform field condition. Clean, pristine, painted walls and an exposed steel truss and metal deck roof system, combined with the floors, create a modest yet refined background on which feature elements construct spatial and textural complexity.
Each unit features a double-height space. Public spaces occupy the primary level while a bedroom loft overlooks the public living space below. While occupying the most private, intimate comer of the unit, each bedroom is bathed in light: a continuous band of clerestory windows runs along one edge of building. The double height space on the level below is left uncluttered and open while bathroom, kitchen and circulation cores are tucked into the space below the loft. The artist lofts become most animated in the details. Two flights of wood and steel stairs rise across from each other. Sculpturally expressed-one leads to a balcony space, the other to the sleeping lofts. When viewed in juxtaposition, they hold each other in poetic balance, one larger and dominant, the other petite, yet solid. It is this kind of relationship that is established at every scale at Bergamot Station whether between two building elements or between buildings within a larger complex of buildings. Consistent throughout the Bergamot Artist Lofts as well as throughout Bergamot Station Art Complex is the desire to create space characterized by elegance, fluidity and a coherence appropriate to its context while also inserting elements of distinction and complexity that help create a unique personality within the greater urban context.