Garcia Properties

Commercial, Residential

This adaptive-reuse transforms a historic auto dealership and showroom into the headquarters for a local real estate developer and construction company. The first floor is an open office space with 15 apartments above.

To maximize flexibility and capitalize on an underserved market in St.Louis, the owner suggested micro-apartments. After exploring more conventional unit arrangements, it was discovered that a self-contained, furniture-like pod including a kitchen, bath, and storage was conducive to semi-transient dwellers, made a more interesting distinction between existing and new, and created an opportunity for an economy of scale for the developer – most of the pods are the same and only change orientation.

The design takes advantage of the existing structure including a concrete ramp- historically used to get cars to the roof- heavy concrete slabs, and rhythmic distribution of structure. While many of the units reference a mechanical sameness, drawing upon the industrial past of the building, the ramp creates a situation in the penthouse for a more unique apartment. The unit is tiered over three plateaus that lead to a roof deck and separate studio with city views.

The renovation included a complete restoration of the building exterior. All of the historic window openings had been made smaller with masonry, and non-historic replacement windows, and covered by large awnings. Now, the exterior features windows that revive the design and transparency of the original structure.