"Working with Reza on these projects was a joy. He is an artist in every way and I feel like with his vision of how a project will be long before it is built he gives the designer a unique opportunity to incorporate their own creative contributions into his overall dream. Reza works closely with all involved to make the final product something that any downtown would be very lucky to have." Jennifer Feaster, Lanscape Designer
The ultimate goal for the design of H Street Lofts was to provide a sense of place. An authentic urban living experience, that is both unique to Fresno and rooted to the site.
Our first design move was to create a distinctly urban building by pushing the building up to H Street and the property line in an L form. Another two wings of lofts where added. The two spaces between the buildings form a landscaped courtyard and a parking lot. Also important in the site planning is the connection to the vagabond lofts. This links the two developments and fosters a sense of community.
The concept with the interior of the lofts was to create a pleasant and uplifting space. This was accomplished by providing a large vertical volume flooded with natural light. A variety of window sizes and proportions provide playful light and shadow that are constantly changing. The kitchen and bathroom are grouped at the center with circulation going around this mass. Simple material choices provide ease of maintenance and a blank canvas for the residents to fill with their personal tastes.
The materials chosen for the H Street facade and courtyard facades have obvious ties to the neighboring railroad and the utilitarian nature of this formerly industrial neighborhood. Those materials include truncated red sheet metal, concrete, caution yellow doors, industrial light fixtures, and raw steel entry trellis. From the exterior the seemingly random placement of windows creates a sense of motion that mirrors passing freight trains.
The uniqueness of each tenant is portrayed to the H Street facade through the use of display boxes. These have been used to show artwork, personal nick-knacks, or holiday displays. This sense of individuality becomes an integral part of the building facade.
Paul N. Halajian, AIA
Taylor Teter Partnership
The history of the site which is now home to the H Street Lofts was the backbone to the landscape design concept. The building that once stood on the the site was Fresno's Army Induction Center. Many Fresno county residents passed through this center and went forth serving our country in World War II. After years of being uninhabited artists informally began to live and work in this vast building. The walls were not sound but they were full of color, stories and life. Music drifted from the site day and night and the artists continued to create even as the lofts were being planned and before construction. The landscape concept for lofts was born from this history with the response that the site needed life to carry on, art in every way and a living memorial to those who, over the years, have set foot on its ground. The sycamores selected as living sculpture rise up out of the memorial mound and will always remain as everchanging living sculpture through-out the seasons.