By now you’re familiar with Rokas International‘s 2100 development, an interesting coupling of a four-story loft conversion with a contemporary glass high-rise. Architect Pat FitzGerald, who designed the high-rise, tells Yo that the loft conversion almost didn’t happen. Rokas planned to demolish the former manufacturing facility until FitzGerald stepped in and urged the developer to retain it, pointing out that new loft projects are few and far between in the South Loop these days.
Plus, FitzGerald thought that the old brick building would be an interesting counterpoint to his blue-glass tower. “The juxtaposition of old and new is intrinsically more interesting than a building that’s trying to look old or all new,” he says.
We tend to agree. FitzGerald has unified the two buildings by positioning the balconies of the high-rise above the line of the old building. The horizontal and vertical lines in the base of the high-rise also echo the lines of the older building. Check back later this week for more insights on the loft market from FitzGerald, a veteran developer and architect.