Project Page – Rotunda Lofts

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Rotunda Lofts


Multi-Family Housing, Adaptive Reuse


HRACRE Award of Excellence for Best Multi-Family

Vintage round buildings are rare, unconventional and super special all at the same time. This one, in the heart of Norfolk’s’ redeveloping downtown has emerged from EYE SORE to ICON! Our transformational vision re-imagined this 1970’s commercial office mid-rise and totally re-purposed its future as a hip 66-unit loft style residential condominium.

The round geometry was capitalized in the planning process bringing forward unique residential unit shapes. The vertical circulation core is located at the center of the circle; so, the building was divided just as one would slice a pie; in wedges. Each dwelling is in fact a pie wedge shape, is accessed from this narrow center point and upon entry, there is an exploding view to the cityscape beyond as the unit plan broadens. A mezzanine level was inserted between the 1st and 2nd floor 20-foot volume for 2 story loft style units at ground level. An additional floor was added to the top of the building creating 2 story penthouse units and sky balconies. The once 7 story structure is now 9 stories.

Color, form, mixed materiality and traditional planning tools bring the building to life within the urban context. The Rotunda, named after its shape, proudly presents a strong drum-like form with a well-defined base of masonry, a carefully articulated body of details and color, and a well-balanced crown at the top.

VIA’s detailed life safety code analysis saved the building from demolition and proved the redevelopment viable. Existing structural concrete stair and elevator shafts were non-complying elements in the building under modern day codes. Alterations to these elements were negotiated as “technically infeasible” and the code official permitted them to remain as originally built – VIA’s value added.

Project Gallery

The Rotunda Lofts

The Rotunda Lofts - Before Renovation

Rotunda Loft Interior

Rotunda Loft Interior

Rotunda Loft Interior

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