Meshberg Group was brought in to reinvent a 110-unit loft building in Williamsburg with a past history as a Matzo factory (among other incarnations) for its next life as a mixed-use residential community. Our first task was to bring the building to life. The new commercial levels – ground floor and lower level – had no windows and no natural light. We opened up the spaces, celebrating its industrial roots by retaining the original octagonal columns, while bringing in full glass and metal window systems. After creating a corner entrance, we wrapped the columns in blackened steel mesh to create visual interest with a washed light effect and to further differentiate it from other buildings of its era. Opening up the bays with new storefronts and entries dynamically transforms the streetscape. The bottom of the building itself is wrapped in flamed black granite, with custom edge detail to ground the building in a base it never had, giving it weight and substance. The granite base breaks up the concrete facade and differentiates the lower level while the edge detail adds a handsome element.
The residential entrance, a blackened steel mesh clad portal carved out of former industrial bays, is sheltered by an awning of corrugated chicken wire glass as another nod to the areas industrial past. In the lobby, perhaps just as radical as any innovative new material, four bays of columns are left exposed preserving the original layers of history of building. Row upon row of columns are contrasted by concrete flooring inlaid with metal, blackened steel fireplace, feature green wall, white bleached oak, new wall coverings, custom marble and white oak lobby desk, and open black metal mesh ceiling exposing the workings of the building above.