Built as a service garage in 1930, the original 2500 s.f. concrete block structure went through various uses and transformations, the latest being an early 70’s conversion to a plate glass shop. Through all of this, the rear block portion, although neglected and in bad repair, remained intact: an open structure with exposed steel and wood beams.
The program was to create a large Studio for the owner with an attached Gallery. The owner wanted to preserver the simple rugged nature of the building.
Following the industrial nature of the concrete block garage, we used 5-V-Crimp galvalume for siding at the front addition. We raised the roof over the small foundation jog at the south end to set off the retail space and to create a covered outdoor room at the entry for opening overflows. The original concrete block was cast to simulate rugged cut stone. Over the years, many of the blocks had spalled or been damaged and all the surfaces were covered with a peeling white paint which highlighted the faults with shadows. Exterior surfaces were cleaned, patched with rough cement, and painted dark grey. Instead of highlighting the defects, the color mutes the faults and unifies the surfaces. With solar panels and heat pumps on the roof, the building is all electric and operates at or near net zero.
Located on a prominent corner in a modest residential neighborhood, the Overlap Gallery quietly stands out and gives new life to the street. The owner was daring to take on a project like this, saving a building that would probably have been torn down, and the result confirms the benefits of mixed use in residential neighborhoods.