107 N West Street

Alexandria, Virginia

Quick Facts: 

Client: 107 N West Street LLC

Market: Commercial

Size: 4,000 gsf

Services: Architecture, Planning, Sustainability

Photographer: Jessica Marcotte


Design Award of Recognition, Society of American Registered Architects

Best Renovation Project, NAIOP (National Association Industrial and Office Properties)

The project involved the renovation of an existing warehouse in a mid-block location to accommodate two design firms, one an architecture firm and the other a photography studio. A one-story structure with 19 ft ceilings, a clear span of approximately 40 ft, and a footprint of 4,350 sq ft, the building was unusually sited on an alley and fire lane, and marketed by real estate broker as a redevelopment opportunity (that is, tear down and rebuild). A semi-abandoned warehouse, the building presented many challenges.

We took our cue from the “good bones” of the building, and focused mostly on energy efficiency and bringing in light. We maintained the existing clerestories, and added windows along the alley and skylights on the opposite side to balance the light in the space.

All windows and skylights are operable, allowing for natural ventilation, while new fans move air through the structure. These two improvements alone represent 3 – 4 months’ worth of energy conservation.

As for the building’s larger context, the alley where it’s located had been a route for pedestrians going to the Metro station, and not particularly safe. Our renovation of the building, with its new windows, has improved the neighborhood through its presence – and its “eyes” – on the alley. Neighbors have applauded this improvement and stressed how it has contributed to the safety of the community. The preservation of the building also contributes to the unique, historic fabric of Old Town.