These sleek solar-powered lofts are part of a stunning adaptive reuse of an old textile warehouse in San Diego. Designed by Jonathan Segal Architecture the 20,000 square foot block receives 50% of its energy from photovoltaic panels and integrates a variety of urban living environments for a mixture of very low income (50% of the median), affordable and market rate units. A paragon of efficient modern minimalism, the Union is a truly beautiful project that recognizes that one of the best ways to build green is to revitalize something old to become new.
The Union is a series of 16 units that generate a large portion of their own electricity by using roof-mounted photovoltaics. The original textile manufacturer’s union hall was repurposed into two live/work units and the architect’s office, while three new buildings have been adapted to form the rest of the development. The units offer abundant light and plenty of ventilation, as well private outdoor patios for each unit.
Needless to say, the idea of taking something old and turning it into a brand new space is a valuable but underused tool in the search for sustainable design. In this case, the architect was so interested in ensuring that the project fulfilled its promise of adaptive reuse that they incorporated spaces used by a convenience store and gas station within the plans. This dedication has been recognized with a number of awards including an American Institute of Architects Honors Award for Housing.
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