JBAD (Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design)

JBAD (Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design)

Columbus, OH


Brunson Building Lofts

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The Brunson Building Lofts is a turn-of-the-century, Chicago style, 12-story office building that has been converted into 22 luxury residential condominiums. In addition to the demands of renovating a large-scale historic structure on a tight urban site were the complex aesthetic, structural and functional issues related to the 12-story expansion required by the owner in order to provide additional floor area for the residential units.

JBAD's philosophy regarding historic redevelopment led them to create a relationship between the existing and new towers based upon aesthetic ideas of composition and scale rather than the imitation of historic styles.

The modern character of the addition creates a bold contrast to the traditional masonry details of its host while the alignment of facade elements in both towers establishes a subtle yet precise continuity between old and new. This compositional relationship between the two structures is a result of the alignment of the horizontal opaque glass panels of the addition with the bands of brick and stone that compose the historic façade.

The twelve-story glass and steel addition creates two residential units per floor of 1,500 to 1,900 square feet each. The addition respects the original building not by coping its well–weathered brink and stone, nor attempting to mimic the style of another age, but by contrasting it with a conservative restrained and sophisticated modern façade. The suspended open terraces of the addition cantilever beyond the building’s edge produces an impressive 180-degree urban experience above the bustling High Street, downtown Columbus’ main artery.

The $13 million renovation and addition to the Brunson Building has taken a nearly abandoned historic building and generated a new use and new activity in an area of downtown Columbus that is experiencing significant gentrification. The original storefronts remain and have been expanded to include an art gallery and design firm. The new tower addition creates a successful financial pro forma for the project, a new architectural identity for the building’s new use and an important urban infill of a gap in the downtown neighborhood.

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Status: Built
Location: Columbus, OH, US
Firm Role: Architect