October 15, 2012
1. LET THERE BE LIGHT
When Area Real Estate bought a stalled 268-unit apartment complex in the River Walk North section of San Antonio, it transformed the drab concrete buildings from top to bottom. Light was an important amenity, since the original units were dark and claustrophobic; new, floor-to-ceiling, 8- to 12-foot-long, high-performance low-E windows were installed, helping cut the heat in the hot summer months.
2. SLICK FINISHES
Despite the overall gritty aesthetic desired, some favorite classic modern materials were incorporated, such as maple-veneer cabinets, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances, all of which upgrade the look for an innovative high-end mix. Because of the concrete envelope, recessed cans couldn’t be installed; instead, contemporary track lights were mounted to the ceiling.
3. OPEN SESAME
The interiors of the apartments were redone, except for the concrete party walls between units, which had to remain in place for financial reasons. The new layouts now are open, with exposed ductwork, concrete columns, and polished-concrete floors. Curtains were used to… Read more…