Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Charlottesville, VA


Downtown Loft and Office

2019 Virginia AIA Merit Award for Excellence in Interior Design

The renovated spaces are located in the oldest building on the downtown pedestrian mall in Charlottesville. The existing structure built in 1843 was in sorry shape — framing, roof, insulation, windows, mechanical systems, electrical and plumbing were all completely renewed to serve for another century or more.

What used to be a dark commercial space with claustrophobic offices on
the third floor and a completely separate attic was transformed into one
spacious open floor apartment with a sleeping loft. Transparency through from front to back is a key design intention on both stories—a second-floor office space and a third-floor residence—giving visual access to the street trees in front, the play of sunlight in the back and allowing multiple modes of direct and indirect natural lighting. A single cabinet “box” with hidden hardware and secret doors runs the length of the building, containing services and storage. In the apartment all kitchen appliances are hidden when not in use. Doors to the left and right of the work surface open fully for access to wall oven and refrigerator. Functional and durable stainless-steel accessories for the kitchen and bath are custom designs and fabricated locally.

The sleeping loft stair is both foreground and background, heavy and light: the white guardrail is a single 3/8” steel plate, the treads and risers are folded perforated steel.

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Status: Built
Location: Charlottesville, VA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Longview Construction Management (General Contractor)
Dunbar, Milby, Williams, Pittman & Vaughn (Structural Engineer)
Virginia Hamrick Photography