Bella Vista Loft
A former cigar factory located in the Bella Vista neighborhood of Philadelphia was converted into loft condominiums in the mid-1980’s. Our clients, committed city dwellers living in one of the building’s standard issue 2-bedroom units, seized the opportunity to purchase an adjacent corner apartment to more than double their square footage, and engaged Wyant Architecture to reimagine the combined space as a long-term family home. Project goals included updating the dated 1980’s-era interiors with a dramatic design that would highlight the building’s industrial past, while also addressing poorly performing building systems. A master plan effort led to the complete reorganization of space, with each unit gutted and rebuilt in a phased construction sequence. Bedrooms and other support spaces were located at the building’s core, above and below an 1100 square foot mezzanine, and were designed to take advantage of borrowed light wherever possible. Public spaces were located at the perimeter of the apartment where they could take advantage of 15-foot ceiling heights, large windows, and exposed brick walls; and were anchored by a spectacular double-island kitchen at one end and a media room at the other. Cabinetry was used in both spaces to minimize the scale of double-height blank walls, while the open mezzanine and strategically placed circulation corridors offer sightlines into and through support spaces, introducing natural light and allowing them to feel integral to the overall design of the apartment. The result is a dramatic family home that feels warm, airy, abundantly light, and connected to its urban neighborhood and industrial past.
Photography: Jeffrey Totaro