Warehouse transformed into The 2700 Building

by Jessica Armstrong, Design Alabama

Repurposing existing buildings is the ultimate in sustainable architecture and adaptive reuse projects abound in Alabama. Born out of this concept is flex space, a term used to describe light industrial warehouses that “flex” into larger or smaller air-conditioned spaces as needed.

A recent flex space design is Birmingham’s 2700 Building, an underutilized warehouse in the Lakeview District owned by Sloss Real Estate, a district that’s becoming increasingly mixed-use.

The tilt-up concrete building was punctured with new large glass panels and steel entry canopies to accommodate Dekalb Office Alabama, a furniture showroom, two additional office tenants, and the furniture warehouse. About half of the building is now office space and about half remains a warehouse, which the furniture company is using for their stock.

CCR Architecture & Interiors in Birmingham designed the 2700 Building. The steel and concrete structure was left exposed with lighting and ductwork highlighting its industrial character. Furnishings are open and flexible, taking advantage of the glazing and views. The mezzanine above the loading dock houses unfinished future tenant space with south facing windows opening to views of Pepper Place and Southside Birmingham. The result is sunlit, collaborative work areas for tenants.

“We removed the building’s concrete panels and replaced them with glass to create bright, open interiors that previously did not exist,” explains Tammy Cohen, president of CCR Architecture & Interiors. “With the tall ceiling heights and glass walls, the offices and showrooms became comfortable, light-filled spaces.”

The loading dock and the building floor plate were four feet above grade. This posed a challenge when creating accessible entrances for the office, Cohen notes.

“Our customer (Sloss Real Estate) wanted to maximize their building, helping it adapt to current market demands,” adds Brittiny Russell of Stewart Perry which provided construction services. “We transitioned a portion of warehouse, once home to a few dark offices and mill work space, into vibrant office spaces. This started with demoing the existing concrete tilt up panels and adding structural steel, allowing for additional openings and more light, a vital component to modern work space.”

New entrances and landscaping completed the project and enhanced the outdoor space.

This article originally appeared on Design Alabama.