Article in Times-Picayune
The townhouse is one of four that were retained intact and that flank the swimming pool at the rear of the complex. A bonus is the small private patio, a rarity for urban dwellers. The two-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot, two-story condo has an open floor plan, light bamboo floors and a straight staircase that allows light to wash through the space, from street-side to courtyard. Brick walls were Sheetrocked and painted a smooth cream.
The single-story condo was created by combining adjacent units on the main building's second floor to create a three-bedroom, 2,747-square-foot apartment. Guest rooms and the kitchen lie to one side of the entryway, the master suite, library and living room to the other. Thirteen windows line the two exterior walls of the corner space, and central and outer walls are stripped to the original brick where possible. The grand-piano shaped granite island in the kitchen had to be brought in through the windows. The high ceilings, wood floors and exposed brick make a fine palette for almost any color scheme or style of decor.
"I can do either traditional or contemporary, mix it up," said Jan Dressel, who lives in the condo with her husband, Leo. The couple chose a soft cream tone called "ivoire" for the walls, and a darker bamboo for the floor.
One design shared by these mostly one-of-a-kind condos is their sleek, stainless and granite walk-through kitchens, which invariably open onto community space such as a den or living room.
"It provides more light and space, plus people like to be in the kitchen, to cook in company," said Irene Keil of Wayne Troyer Architects.
THE CONCEPT: The St. Joseph Condominiums respect historic context while embracing contemporary innovation. Thus, the architects strove for interpretive use of materials, forms and proportions in both interiors and exteriors. The new pool pavilion was made of translucent polycarbonate, allowing for transmission of light while preserving privacy; the room seems to glow at night. The copper-clad penthouses will develop a patina over time, combining of-the-moment material with a time-worn look. Overall, the complex demonstrates how adaptive use of existing buildings can create a new identity through contemporary design.
-- RENÉE PECK