Wednesday, August 4, 2021
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Adaptive reuse challenges

🕐 2 min read

Adaptive reuse projects always pose challenges, but they can produce some stunning results.

VLK Architects Inc. worked to create Near South Studios, a project that combined an office setting with a modern professional production studio for Glass Lake Production Group. The challenge was converting an 8,000-square foot cheese cold storage facility.

Niki Schoessow, project designer at VLK:

As designers of adaptive reuse projects, we are often met with a conflict of interest: the need to create a functional space often duels with efforts to honor the history of a building. At Near South Studios, we were able to recognize the opportunity within that conflict. The structure of the existing coolers had an innate beauty in its simplicity, so we allowed it to drive the design. Painted bold green, the structure leads you through the space intersecting at various points along the angled walls of the offices and editing spaces.

Buildings that have character often come with challenges. Those things that help create a building’s history also take a toll on the building itself.

While the cracked and broken concrete floor added character, it was not useful for a production studio.

Along with various structural issues, the original concrete floor at Near South Studios was cracked and broken due to heavy and abusive use over the years, with a patchwork of disjointed slabs that had to be leveled perfectly so that cameras could roll smoothly across it.

There is a challenge in being able to see the possibilities of what a space can be. The back-of-house loading dock was originally dark and dreary, with crumbling ceilings and rickety garage doors. By framing the loading dock with railroad ties, adding steel-framed glazed overhead doors and some glass block, we were able to fill the space with light and life, and convert it into an inviting back patio and living room space.

The project ended up receiving an award from AIA Fort Worth.

– Craig McDaniel

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