202 Broad Street

Located in the downtown district of Rome, Georgia, 202 Broad Street is an existing main street building that remained vacant for several years prior to its renovation in 2016. The second floor of the space was renovated to accommodate an office with accompanying bar, lounge, and rooftop deck. The design was intended to create thoughtful interventions between the existing structure and the new construction. This was achieved through complimenting the exposed – previously burned – brick with hand-hewn shou-sugi-ban cladding, as well as by exposing the space to natural light through the creation of a clerestory and rooftop deck.

Design Challenge

As a main street building, 202 Broad Street shares walls on both sides with other existing structures. This condition limited natural light to the front windows of the building. As such, exposing the space to natural light became a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge was met through the creation of a clerestory and a rooftop deck. The solution to adjust the roof structure and create a clerestory allowed natural light to fill the interior space. The increased height of the ceiling also relieved the long narrowness endured by the existing structure and established a natural location for the office’s conference table. The rooftop deck allowed for a second opportunity for those seeking natural light during the workday. The existing roof structure was demolished and reconstructed to accommodate a private patio - partially covered, and directly accessible from the office, bar, and lounge. Through the design of the clerestory and rooftop deck, natural light was established from the front to the back of the renovated space.

Physical Context

As a main street building, 202 Broad Street is limited by the context surrounding it. It cannot be made wider, it cannot extend longer; but in that main street context, it was not necessary to try to alter its relationship with the existing built environment. Rather, the design attempted to maintain those interactions while attempting to capture the aspects that were missing from its relationship to the natural environment. The design of 202 Broad Street deviated from typical office design. It created an environment that embraced natural light and allowed for opportunities to breathe fresh air and feel the sunlight on the roof deck. These opportunities captured aspects of the natural environment that were previously missing from the original use and design of the building.