22 Mercer

how to inject light into a massive loft building

Location: 22 Mercer/477 Broadway, SoHo Historic District,                 New York City

Completion: 2008, Renovated in 2014

Project Size: 60,000 SF Restoration

Project Type: Adaptative Reuse, Penthouse Addition and       Residential Interiors

Client: PMG, Property Markets Group

22 Mercer St

The historic, five story loft building, built in 1860, has been converted into a mixed use building with sixteen apartments and two penthouse levels. The renovation included the complete restoration of the two facades. Landmarks mandated the reconstruction of the historic Broadway storefront, allowing for a modern infill on Mercer Street, whose design is at once independent and contextual.

The apartment layout for the massive through-block building, which was to be served by a single core, challenged our ability to create the circulation path and find light and air. The solution was offered by the introduction of four dramatic interior atriums, gently tapering outward before folding into the penthouses. To increase the light penetration, the atriums are lined with a sloped curtain wall glazing system, with custom fritted glass and semi-reflective Trespa panels. As in the Barcelona courts, the atriums become the center of the apartments. The structures, together with the penthouses transform the recreation space into a contemporary fabricated urban “‘roofscape”. The rooftop penthouses are one of the many two story visible additions for which TRA obtained Landmarks approval.

TRA also designed the 100 foot long lobby, whose ceiling echoes the atriums. The interior is designed with the same care as the exterior.

The cast-iron columns, Brazilian cherry floors and custom cabinetry accents add to the richness of the space. The design draws from the contradictions between the elements, building on all of the attributes that make the old loft apartments desirable. This is one of the many projects that TRA completed in the SoHo Historic District. The sum rises at the urban scale becoming integral to the improvement of the larger fabric and neighborhood. The series of projects along the Mercer corridor, contributed to the “making of the street", re-crafting it from a gritty back street. The modern artificial roof-scape and loft interiors, widely published, became part of the vernacular imaging of loft life. 

TRA renovated parts of the building in 2014, when we were pleased to see that the well designed and built detailing and spaces are standing the test of time.

In Progress


Roth, Manoela, Masterpieces: Roof Architecture + Design: by Braun AG Publishing, Salenstein, Switzerland, July 2012, pages 280-283
The Modern Estate, Winter 2008, Wild Things, Richard Friswell
New American Luxury Magazine, Well Preserved, by Annie Fisher, November-December 11
Part of the the restoration case studies at the GSAPP