While much of Norfolk’s architectural heritage has been lost over time, this 1950’s gem, Norfolk’s only example of the “international architectural style” developed first in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, has debuted as the new home of the D’Art Center and The Atlantic Permanent Apartments. As importantly, a significant historic building is saved.
The old Atlantic Permanent headquarters, originally built in 1955, links the Chrysler Museum of Art and the Chrysler Museum of Art Perry Glass Studio to the NEON district, providing much needed space on the first level for 20 working artist studios, classrooms, an event and outreach area and a gift shop. Upper floors have been converted into 14 one-bedroom apartments, each up to 750-square-feet. Third floor units will have rooftop patios and views towards Ghent and Downtown neighborhoods.
The building of glass and brick, independent of its concrete structure, is classic in the international style, including a cantilevered brick “pop-out” construction on the Boush Street façade. Large panels of glazing, previously diminished by the addition of a reflective film, will be restored, bathing the interiors in natural light and revealing the original quirks of the building with blended interior and exterior forms of brick and marble.
Designers from Work Program Architects also created a resiliency plan, as The Atlantic Permanent resides in a flood zone and the building could not be raised above flood level.