Home to one of Tucson’s ice manufacturing plants until it closed permanently in 2002, the Ice House Lofts are 51 distinctive residences located in the 1923 Arizona Ice and Cold Storage Company building. The design preserves the authentic industrial character of the existing building’s exterior shell while simultaneously infusing it with new life in the provision of 48 modern residential units. An additional three units are provided in the form of a new triangular-shaped building along with a pool house and a storage building for tenants.

Adaptive re-use of an abandoned building for housing fosters a ‘smart growth’ model of development that meets the needs of those with a desire to live in the city while saving an old building and neighborhood from neglect. Materials reclaimed from the interior of the old building gain new life as courtyard and pool fencing while equipment used in the ice making process are sandblasted and re-displayed as entry markers for the project. New exterior architectural elements such as balconies and shading devices are detailed in a manner which purposely contrasts the old with the new. In doing this, the scale normally associated with industrial architecture is broken down and is made both humane and usable for its occupants.

The project required close collaboration with city officials, consultants and contractors. From the re-zoning of the property to assistance with marketing potential we worked hand in hand with and as part of the Development Team to create a successful award winning project. The success of the project has given other developers courage to take on other inner city development projects as Tucson seeks to re-define and re-build its downtown.