Old North St. Louis
The fine folks at Old North Restoration Group are a doing good things. For years they’ve been championing efforts to enhance the area around Crown Square despite the challenges. They are responsible for arts initiatives, community building events, historic preservation, and housing/development. They are the leaders in architectural revitalization in St Louis. And I was floored to be contacted by them to talk about a prospective house development.
We had a few discussions talking about funding – obviously a major factor in this underdeveloped area – and formed a strategy to keep design simple but bold. We aim to keep construction costs low and submit for ‘gap financing’ to make up the difference in sale vs build costs.
The houses are simple 2-bed, 1 bath rectangles on a full basement, but the ‘look’ and layout are fresh. Taking cues from the intact brick buildings around them, the facade mixes rusted corten steel and cement board panel establishing a complementary and durable design. The open-plan 1st floor includes kitchen, living, and dining space while the 2nd floor offers a flexible 2 bedroom with loft layout.
Front Elevation with Corten steel