Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 20

FEATURE

historic renovation

of different ideas-do we make standard-sized

the building, which is already 50% leased

units with larger hallways that feel more open,

after just a few months of availability. Ac-

or add square footage to the units?"

cording to WinnDevelopment's Stein, "we're

Ultimately the design team chose to make

leasing units at a greater-than-expected pace,

the units larger. While the hallways remain siz-

and Yarn Works is actually setting the local

able at 10 ft. in width, homes are now between

market in terms of rent. This success is a true

45- and 50-ft. deep, rather than the 30 ft. ini-

testament to the design team's innovative ap-

tially planned. This decision enabled the inclu-

proach to unit layouts, amenity spaces, and

sion of extra rooms-such as dens and separate

the unique features only offered in a historic

kitchen and dining areas-that aren't often

mill conversion. We're by far the best product

found in homes at this price level, greatly in-

on the market."

creasing their appeal and value proposition.

Now officially listed on the National Reg-

According to Maenpaa, "those extra feet and

ister of Historic Places, the $24-million Yarn

additional rooms make a huge difference in

Works project also fills an important need in

how expansive the units feel, which really

the community, providing high-quality

broadens the appeal to people who might be

housing for a range of income levels. Of its 39

downsizing from larger homes."

affordable units, 29 are reserved for those

The final unit mix ranges from one- to

earning 60% or less of the area median in-

three-bedroom loft homes, with 29 one-bed-

come (AMI) with the remaining 10 set aside

room, 58 two-bedroom, and nine three-bed-

for those earning 30% or less of AMI.

room apartments. Out of the 96 total units, 39

The design-and-development team be-

are affordable; all feature attractive details such

lieve this project, along with several other

as wood-plank ceilings and floors, exposed

historic renovations now underway through-

brick and original metal beams, and ceilings

out the city, will act as a catalyst for a new era

that are among the tallest Maenpaa has ever

for formerly struggling neighborhoods in

seen. "Most of the mill conversions we've done

Fitchburg. "Historic renovations like Yarn

have a 12-ft. ceiling height," he noted. "This

Works really benefit their communities," said

structure has an average of 15-ft.-high ceilings."

Stein. "They provide quality, stable housing,
and contribute to meaningful economic

SOLUTIONS AND INTERACTION

growth."

Outside of the individual units, a primary

According to TAT's Verrier, adding new

goal for the design-and-development team was

housing that attracts young professionals and

the creation of spaces that would encourage
residents to interact with each other and that
would help foster a sense of community. One of

One of the building's most notable features is its nearly 300 8-ft. x 10-ft. windows, which flood the
interior with natural light. To meet NPS standards, the design team replaced original combinations
of steel sash and wood frames with new, thermally broken aluminum frames featuring historically
matched muntins and divided-lite windows. Photo: Andy Ryan, courtesy TAT

the highlights is a large, 3,000-sq.-ft. common

older folks downsizing from elsewhere, and
that allows current Fitchburg residents to remain in the city, will in turn help to attract and
keep restaurants, retail operations, and other

room, housed in the building's former boiler

businesses. Local leaders agree. "It's just a mag-

house. "We tried to make this the hub or the core

to the programming goals, and required creative design

nificent building," Fitchburg Mayor DiNatale

of the amenity space," said Maenpaa, "with everything

solutions to activate. At the main entrance, for example,

said of Yarn Works at a public event earlier this year.

else built around it." The 25-ft.-tall space has exposed

the entry sequence led to an interior dead space. The

"They've transformed that whole area, and we couldn't

flat Pratt trusses with vertical wrought-iron tension rods

design team used an architectural insertion to transform

be happier." CA

and 17-ft.-tall windows. Residents can take advantage of

the area, cutting a 30- x 20-ft. hole in the floor and creat-

a warming kitchen, pool tables, TV, and workspace ar-

ing a central atrium with a new stair tower.

eas, and a variety of different seating arrangements.

Original beams were kept in place to highlight the

Closer to the building's core, the design team pro-

historic structure, and large, lantern-like chandeliers, se-

grammed amenities that didn't require as much natural

lected by the interior designer, provide illumination and

light. Across the hall from the bright and open commu-

contribute to the sense of historic character. According

nity room, for example, a 2,000-sq.-ft. space now houses

to Maenpaa, this atrium forms a new focal point for the

a fitness center and dedicated yoga studio, whose tall

center of the buildin, and creates a venue for the sort of

ceilings create an airy feel despite the lack of windows.

incidental resident interaction that helps people get to

The building also offers an indoor bike-storage room,

know their neighbors.

complete with a small workshop area. Other spaces were
configured as storage and work areas for the mainte-

IT'S HIP TO BE NEAR THE SQUARE

nance crew.

Despite provision for on-site parking, the walkable and

Some areas didn't lend themselves quite so naturally
20

COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE

NOVEMBER 2017

transit-oriented location has become a selling point for

commercialarchitecturemagazine.com

Want more information? To download
the information listed below, visit
commercialarchitecturemagazine.com/
1711archteam

The Architectural Team (TAT)
WinnDevelopment
City of Fitchburg


http://www.commercialarchitecturemagazine.com/1711archteam http://www.commercialarchitecturemagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture November 2017

The Architects
Preserve Or Restore?
Adaptive Reuse
Light, Sound Contribute to Comforting Experience
Access Flooring Saves Energy, Improves IAQ
Green Walls Welcome Restaurant Guests
High-Profile Ceilings
HVAC System Redirects Convent Resources
Lighting Complements 'Study Cascade' Design
Assembly-Plant Lighting Retrofit
Brewing Up Lighting
Have It All: Quality, Comfort, Efficiency, Cost Savings
Translucent Facade Highlights Learning
Historical Details, High-Performance Windows
Protecting And Enlightening History
Most-Wired Hospital Saves Big
Showcase
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Cover1
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Cover2
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 1
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 2
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 3
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 4
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 5
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - The Architects
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 7
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Preserve Or Restore?
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 9
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 10
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 11
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 12
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 13
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 14
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 15
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Adaptive Reuse
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 17
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 18
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 19
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 20
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 21
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Light, Sound Contribute to Comforting Experience
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 23
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Access Flooring Saves Energy, Improves IAQ
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 25
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Green Walls Welcome Restaurant Guests
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 27
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - High-Profile Ceilings
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 29
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 30
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 31
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 32
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 35
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - HVAC System Redirects Convent Resources
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 37
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 38
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 39
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 40
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Lighting Complements 'Study Cascade' Design
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 42
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Assembly-Plant Lighting Retrofit
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Brewing Up Lighting
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 45
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 46
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 47
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Have It All: Quality, Comfort, Efficiency, Cost Savings
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 49
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 50
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 51
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 52
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 53
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Translucent Facade Highlights Learning
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 55
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Historical Details, High-Performance Windows
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 57
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Protecting And Enlightening History
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 59
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 60
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Most-Wired Hospital Saves Big
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 62
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 63
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Showcase
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 65
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 66
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Cover3
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Cover4
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