A Modern Warehouse for a 21st Century Living

After the Knowledge economy took over the Industrial economy, America was left with thousands of buildings we are all familiar with. Our downtowns in nearly all of our cities have “legacy” industrial buildings that were once used to manufacture goods in America. These buildings are characterized by their sheer functionality: concrete or timber structure, multiple levels and large windows. The idea was simple: manufacturing needed light and ventilation…and tall, wide windows provided it. Now, we realize that these old buildings are ideal for adaptive reuse into either office or residential.

JEMA is creating a modern interpretation of the legacy industrial structure in St. Louis, MO. The building is a mix of uses: retail at the ground floor and flats above (with amazing amenities). The new design features floor-to-ceiling windows within a brick frame. Exterior balconies, reminiscent of fire escapes of yesteryear, dot the facade. The entry is marked by a center stair that is clad in cast glass splitting the mass of the building into two distinct forms. The logic of yesterday’s industrial building is applied to create an ideal 21st Century residence.

A modern twist on a bygone era: view looking southeast at Jefferson Ave. and Lynch Street.


Light and ventilation and economy of structure: the 3 basic ingredients of yesteryear’s industrial architecture.


Artificial lighting did not provide enough foot-candles. Large windows were essential to illuminating the manufacturing lines of the last two centuries.


Glass makers at the time were not able to make large panes and even if they could, transporting them would have been a tricky proposition.


Hence, historic industrial windows were comprised of small panes of glass held together in a metal frame.
View looking northeast on Jefferson Avenue.
The center stair is clad with cast channel glass.
By locating all the balconies on the north, east and south, the building along Jefferson has a clearer expression.