With a total area of 762 ft², two 3-story buildings on Natchez Street in New Orleans had become dilapidated and uninhabitable over time. One of these had deteriorated so much that a missing roof was leading to the destruction of the interiors. The bricks walls were in a sorry state as well, and needed some tender love and care. The buildings were rehabilitated with great care though, by the architects at studioWTA, and their historical charm was preserved as much as possible.
Split-level concept was introduced to enhance space utilization and structural frames were replaced. In one of the buildings, the vaulted brick structure on the ground floor was retained for a very vintage look. The large historic windows were refurbished to ensure the ample influx of sunlight. At present, the buildings are more sustainable, modern at heart, yet replete with the charm of bygone days. It took $1,700,000 to revamp these once-derelict structures in order to accommodate five residential units and an office space. The architects also received awards like the 2015 AIA New Orleans Honorable Mention and 2015 Louisiana Landmarks Society Excellence in Historic Preservation Award.
This series of vaulted brick walls was creatively used to create the bathroom for the master bedroom in one of the buildings. Modern furniture and fixtures and cove lighting promise urban comfort though.
Custom-milled entrance doors and lantern-like lights relive the historic significance of the revamped building. The large old-fashioned windows and refurbished brickwork ensure an elegant facade and bright, cheerful interiors.
Take a look at the two-bedroom plan and split-level plan of the two buildings under consideration. The left plan indicates two bedrooms with bathrooms and an open plan common area for living, dining and cooking. This is to maximize the flow of natural light and air. The right side plan shows how the split-level units utilize hallway space for vertical circulation.
From this sectional plan, you can clearly see how split-level units work within the same building. This way, the ground floor unit gets an extra level which can be used for guests.
As we mentioned before, owing to a split-level design, the ground floor in one of the buildings benefits from an extra level for guests. You can see how that actually worked out here. A large glass window for the guest bedroom also ensures the easy flow of natural light, which reaches the lower level as well.
Thanks to the presence of tall glass windows, the bathroom you just saw connects with a small courtyard flooded with sunlight. This way, the master bedroom stays sunny throughout the day too.
Both windows on the wall as well as bedroom windows flood the kitchen with natural light. Sleek designs, smooth white and grey surfaces and modern appliances make this a very convenient and inviting space, while the wooden flooring offers warmth.
The presence of both front and rear elevators helps the ground floor to open up to the upper levels easily. This enhances the ease of socialization, making the building feel like a group of private residences shared by loved ones.
We love how the dining space opens up to a spacious and airy wooden deck on the second floor of one of the buildings. A sliding glass door set in bold black frames visually connects these two zones even when closed.
During renovation, the architects took special care to blend old and new elements to lend character to the interiors. Existing brick walls were left exposed wherever possible to contrast the white plaster nicely. Some walls were equipped with inbuilt storage as well to ensure urban convenience.
Though small, the split-level units feature folding doors in frosted glass to separate the bedroom from the living areas. On the second floor, these doors can also be used to create a studio apartment of sorts for renting out.
A look at this kitchen and bathroom will show you how modern, stark, yet elegant the interior finishing is. Neat designs, simple but space-saving storage solutions, sophisticated neutral colors and trendy fixtures are responsible for this.
The final outcome after the renovation appears in sync with the surrounding landscape, yet reminiscent of its historic past. Large and stylish glass windows, robust metallic elements and refurbished brickwork hint at a sustainable structure which can be used by modern families comfortably.
Here’s another tour - This home is synonymous with summer fun!