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News > Context Spring 2024 > Design Profile: Herringbone Lofts

Design Profile: Herringbone Lofts

Stanev Potts Architects
Photo: Daniel Jackson 
Photo: Daniel Jackson 

Herringbone Lofts takes its name from the original purpose of this elegantly redeveloped building: a factory and warehouse for a 1920s men’s suit manufacturer. Before its transformation into a modern mixed-use project with 54 apartments, exceptional amenities, and ground floor commercial space, this structure sat abandoned for over 30 years. With major sections of the building deteriorated beyond repair, an adaptive reuse approach required a careful survey and evaluation of the façade and structure, and inventive techniques to harmonize the new skin and systems with the handsome industrial character of the original. 

This approach is exemplified in the elevations where original brick is juxtaposed with new spandrels of folded weathering steel, redefining the building’s appearance while preserving the original façade composition. The existing steel windows—determined too corroded to repair—were replaced by modern ones designed to echo the original muntin pattern while providing high thermal and acoustic performance. 

“Salvage and reuse” was the theme for the carefully planned interior as well. Original exterior steel windows were restored for use as interior dividers in the amenity spaces. Salvaged timbers and decking were planed and reused for a variety of purposes, from stair treads to furniture tops to a herringbone patterned accent wall in the lobby. 

While the historic framework provided a handsome aesthetic vocabulary, it was also challenging to ensure that the building could deliver modern comfort, particularly regarding acoustics—a common issue with timber factory conversions. The floor/ceiling assemblies utilized a detail developed for modern heavy timber buildings: ultra-thick isolation matts combined with a thickened gypsum topping slab. This allowed the existing heart pine decking timbers to be left as exposed ceilings paired with minimalist surface-mounted lighting and exposed ductwork. These design strategies combined to create industrially spare, luxurious, and comfortable interiors. 

Project: Herringbone Lofts  

Location: Grays Ferry, Philadelphia, PA    

Client: Miller Investment Management  

Project Size: 58,800 sq ft 

Project Team:  
Stanev Potts Architects (Architect)  

Ascent Restoration (Facade Consultant) 

Cooke Brown (Structural Engineer)  

BHG Consulting (Electrical/Mechanical Engineer) 

Reed Street Builders (General Contractor) 

Photos: Daniel Jackson 

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