58 State Street
We were well underway in the process of constructing a mixed-use building in Portsmouth’s downtown when suddenly, things changed.
We were approached by a couple interested in purchasing the entire site. The building’s street-level design would remain as originally planned – 2 small retail condos for let. The rest of the structure would need a quick reassessment and redesign to not affect the current construction schedule. The 2nd floor was redesigned to be one large, residential condo. The third and fourth floors would become the couple’s private quarters. They were relocating from a suburban neighborhood to the center of town, yet still hoping to maintain a sense of home for their large family with a strong connection to the outdoor space.
The third floor would serve as the home’s main living space. A formal entrance with historic charm was created through varying ceiling heights, and exposed beams. Unique transition spaces were built, leading into an open concept living, kitchen and dining area with access to a series of back decks overlooking a more private street and the park.
The fourth floor, tucked into the roof line, would house a master suite, 2 more bedrooms, laundry and additional ‘landscaped’ deck areas.
Unique, typically under-utilized areas and architectural elements were assigned creative uses to maximize the project’s flavor and objective. The elevator override cavity became a substantial storage closet on the fourth floor. The building’s firewall was extended and a decorative brick archway was added to connect the outdoor areas of the original side-by-side condos. A flat roof area, snug against the adjacent property’s blank brick wall, complete with pergola and sun shade, was designed to be a secluded, landscaped patio overlooking the back neighborhood.
This project exemplifies the quick change in direction and unexpected surprises that can come of new ideas through collaboration.