August's project features our renovation of the former Lambert's Point Market in Norfolk, Virginia. The building, close to Old Dominion University, was an eyesore and magnet of criminal activity.
For years we passed the building thinking: “What an incredible makeover and community service opportunity.” When the For Sale sign appeared we immediately negotiated a contract and embarked on converting the structure into a 4-bedroom, 3-bath private residence.
To avoid prolixity, we’ll focus on two key design elements: Raising the first-floor entry out of the high-risk flood zone, and creating passive privacy.
Originally designed for pedestrians to walk-in off the street, the covered entry’s floor sloped slightly into the store's interior. As the area could flood, it was important for us to mitigate potential water damage and end the annual rise in flood insurance premiums.
As a conventional wood framed floor would require replacement after a storm surge, we specified a concrete slab, acid-etched and sealed. The new elevation enabled us to elevate the entry door and porch floor, making the area more private. An astute observer will notice the planters flanking the entry. These 24-inch tall grass-planted boxes will hinder a nosy passerby’s opportunity to peer into the laminated glass storefront windows.
Together, the two improvements afford the home’s future occupants passive privacy, security, and safety, along with an entry that embodies distinction and imbues a welcoming charm.