The Rotunda lofts on St. Paul’s Boulevard is an extreme adaptive re-use and renovation of a 1970’s commercial office building. Prior to beginning design, VIA design performed a detailed building code analysis to assist the developer with assessing the extent of upgrades required under current day codes for the residential use being considered. Existing structural concrete stairs shafts and elevator shafts were non-complying elements in the building. The code official accepted our analysis proposal and agreed that alterations to these elements were “technically infeasible” and would be allowed to remain as built.
The transformation of the Rotunda contributes to the continued revitalization of downtown Norfolk and is used as a 66 unit loft style residential condominium structure with nine stories. The existing building had seven floors with the first floor measuring 19 feet from floor to ceiling. An additional floor was added between the first and second floors of the building to create two-story loft style units. A 9th floor was added to the roof to combine the 8th and 9th floor levels into two-story penthouse units. The existing skin was removed and replaced with a masonry and storefront base, a column and glass/stucco infill body, and storefront all around the penthouse level to maximize city views.