A nineteenth century corner-store (circa 1840,) with second story addition in 1886. The renovation involved surgical restoration of brick, wood, and ironwork, with complimentary modern interiors.
The exterior of the building involved restoration of all cladding materials and full restoration or replacement of all doors and windows. The ground level plaster was removed, brick tuck-pointed, and traditional lime based plaster re-applied. Due to rising damp issues (water wicking up out of the ground through brick walls), a mud band was installed at the sidewalk edge. This is a highly breathable sacrificial stucco band that can easily be repaired.
At the top of this band, we saw-cut a continuous through-wall joint into the brick and inserted a sheet of lead to prevent water migration up the wall. All ironwork was removed, and the gallery temporarily braced. The ironwork was powder coated and reinstalled. Along the western facade, the building is between 12-18 inches away from the neighboring structure. The existing wood clapboards, probably dating to the 1880’s were rotting and inaccessible. This wall was entirely removed from the inside of the house, and replaced with a metal clad wall, tilted up from the inside of the house.
In addition, the shiplap siding at the second level was entirely removed so that plywood sheathing and a proper weather barrier could be added. The siding was reinstalled over furring strips creating a rain screen assembly. Roofing at the gallery was an asphaltic membrane system and replaced with standing seam copper. The main roof shingles were replaced with composite slate tiles.
The vitrine (large projecting window) was added as was likely the condition prior to 1900, though there was no photographic evidence of this. New sidewalks and exterior gas lanterns were installed to complete the adaptive reuse.
The historic entry gallery gives access to the second story master suite via curving staircase. The suite uses two islands as a way to integrate a full modern kitchen while allowing existing slip-head windows all to remain as operable openings and points of access to the corner gallery. Similar to the ground level, the master closet, bath, and laundry facilities are grouped into one quadrant to allow the main living spaces to feel open and uncompromised. A winder stair leads up to the former uninhabitable attic space. The office occurs as about two-thirds the way up the stair over the master bath space below, while the sound proofed main space functions as a viewing room. A bathroom is tucked behind the viewing wall, with a shower built within one of the three dormer spaces.
The first floor guest suite is accessed (plan left) from the sidewalk, and occupies the original corner store footprint. A jack-and-jill type bathroom, closets, and compact bar kitchen occupy the north-east quadrant allowing the original store space to remain open. The bedroom utilizes a custom floor to ceiling wardrobe/bar cabinet with full height pocket doors as a room divider. The vitrine window acts as a cabinet of curiosities for passersby, a common feature in the Vieux Carre and Marigny neighborhoods.
The dependency suite is accessed from plan south along the sidewalk, or through the courtyard. The ground level functions as a poolside kitchen and lounge, while the upstairs works as a bedroom suite. The bathroom utilizes pocket doors to allow it to float within the space as a contained volume.
The master suite entry gallery floors in white marble honor a traditional approach to the main residence above. Custom plaster medallion by New Orleans native and master craftsmen Jeff Poiree is the highlight. The existing wood stair, retrofitted in the 20th century with a powder room underneath, was restored to its original configuration. Original railings and treads were removed, sanded and repaired, and reinstalled. A very minimal reveal along the top edge of the brick wall (image left) allows the brick wall behind it to release and rising damp into the conditioned space of the home. Sheetrock and baseboards are mounted on furring strips over existing brick walls concealing all electrical conduit. Doors (image right) lead into the courtyard, while doors image left lead into the guest suite lending much flexibility to how the spaces are used.
The main living space of the master suite involved removal of a bathroom (behind the Bob Marley painting) to restore the full dimension of the space. Walls and ceilings were fully re-leveled and refloated with smooth level five finish. Concealed speakers and floated with a thin skim coat within the walls and ceiling controlled via home automation by any smart device. Wall mounted cabinet (image right) conceals a TV with custom painted aluminum honeycomb panel by Margaret Evangeline. Air conditioning is distributed with slot diffusers fed by ductwork in attic crawl space. Slip-head windows were restored, and antique replacement glass used as needed.
Kitchen cabinets by Gaggenau, and marble top waterfall counters were book matched. Existing juliet balcony restored with replacement railing to match the main gallery. Closet furr-out was removed and replaced with seamlessly integrated refrigerator wall and pantry cabinetry. All floors refinished and repaired where damaged by walls or furniture.
The master suite involves a compact arrangement of program: bedroom, five fixture bath, vanity, closets, powder room, and laundry. Using the powder room as a pass through to the laundry allows access without going through the master bedroom. The walk-in shower is clad with book matched full height marble slabs carefully laid out and installed using a chain lift-hung from the ceiling joists above. Opening above the bathtub volume brings indirect natural light into the bathroom through the bedroom. Closet doors fabricated with Apple-Ply plywood, and sprayed conversion varnish. Utility sink at laundry with 3form transparent counter. Mirrors used through out the space to share light and extend sense of dimension.
The master suite involves a compact arrangement of program: bedroom, five fixture bath, vanity, closets, powder room, and laundry. Using the powder room as a pass through to the laundry allows access without going through the master bedroom. The walk-in shower is clad with book matched full height marble slabs carefully laid out and installed using a chain lift hung from the ceiling joists above. Opening above the bathtub volume brings indirect natural light into the bathroom through the bedroom. Closet doors fabricated with Apple-Ply plywood, and sprayed conversion varnish. Utility sink at laundry with 3form transparent counter. Mirrors used throughout the space to share light and extend sense of dimension.
Details of the master suite bathroom, including the marble cladding and the 3form panel. The standing shower is built out from an area formerly used as a fireplace (all fireplaces and chimneys in the Vieux Carre and the Faubourg Marigny were ordered sealed for fire prevention in the early 1970s.)
Custom steel winder stair leads to attic. Folded steel treads are welded to angle flanges bolted to each wall stud and then concealed with mdf panels at walls. Wall panels finished in venetian plaster. Staircase finish is 9 part boat paint finish. All stair geometries for treads, risers, and railings mocked up on site with plywood prior to fabrication off site. Niches in walls, lined with concealed LED tape lighting, used by the owner for art objects. Stair accesses office at about two-thirds height landing, and continues up to main viewing room. Roof access for servicing via dormer window.
The main attic serves as a viewing room. The entire space was sealed with acoustic vinyl sheet material behind wall finish for soundproofing from master suite below. Reclaimed cypress and pine lath from historic plaster walls reused as ceiling and wall finish within recessed office area. Cabinets and record console in cypress wood with left-over orange 3form panel (image right) used to support records. Flush white door accesses all house controls and equipment. Behind TV, small bar area, and bathroom around the corner, with private water closet, and shower within dormer window. Walls in hand cut glass tiles follow the angle of the roofline. Shower seat in sinker cypress. LED tape lights used as accent lighting overhead to render feeling of higher ceilings.