Commercor Lofts - Capstone Project


  • Converted Soap Factory to Cultural Hub: Commercor Lofts

    LOCATION:
    Partially Vacant Former Soap Factory; built in 1916; 4 story concrete structure

    PROJECT TYPE: 
    Adaptive Reuse

    CONCEPT:
    A project accomplished during a 5 month period, along with an additional 5 months of research beforehand, was designed as a multi-purpose space. At the moment, its current function is a vacant space, with partial commercial rental units, located in a former soap factory “Yardley Soap”; this edifice remains in West New York, also known as Union City, NJ. 

    This mixed-use development comprises a communal farmer’s market incorporating: a food hall, in-house restaurants and bars, rooftop restaurants beside aesthetic serviceable gardens. Private residential units includes premium “Key-Card” access to recreational amenities, such as a secluded fitness center and bowling alley, as well as professional business spaces. 

    Clash the old and the new — they were predestine to live simultaneously. Without affecting the original state of the building, a protruding glass structure joins the old and new which creates a vitality that flows through the entirety of the building. The ardor will perform as a guidance for people from the front doors, to the market space, and continue up to the public rooftop. A night sky will show the exterior luminosity to be seen from the NY skyline.

    The Adaptive Reuse process allows Commercor to be a revitalized structure that, given the space provided and leaving it virtually untouched, permits the unaffected grandeur; enabling flawed perfection.

    Motivation: Creation from Nothing 
    Vacant factories are now old and unused. “Old” is another way of saying something is obsolete, worn out, or out grown; when something is obsolete it is unused because it doesn't matter anymore — meaning it's pointless, unneeded and it's overlooked and missed. Everyone seems to be distracted by the new, the young, the useable and useful. So, considering it is missed and overlooked, underrated, and as if it wasn't there to begin with at all; it is basically nothing. Commercor will transform this, giving people a change and a chance to actually look at something that's there. Concluding to a creation of something someone can see once again by bringing it back into view, making it new and noticeable. Something that isn't obsolete but contemporary — something out of nothing.

    Etymology: Why Commercor?
    Commercor is created as a semi portmanteau word blending the two Latin words of Communis and Mercor. 

    Communis defining synonyms: common, public, general, shared by all or many. 
    The root being “com” — community, communion, company, commonplace.
    Prefixing the word is “co” “cor” “com” “con” “col”— cooperation, correlate, coincide, converge, collaborate, console, combat, commitment or committee. 
    This is not an exhaustive list, but the main point is that these words are about being together, in a public or social gathering, or simply “with” another.

    Mercor defining synonyms: trade, deal, sell, buy, purchase
    The root being “mer” (merx) or “mar” — merchandise, merchant, mercantile, market, mart.
    Again, not exhaustive but showing these words are simply about trading and selling monetarily.

    Commercor brings these two Latin words and all of their associated descendants together. The word embodies the meaning to show the public that this space is the preeminent construction of commercial activity. Communis and Mercor together form the word commerce, the activity of buying and selling. Commercor will be the prime location for the customers and residents to give bona fide etymological meaning to the area of Union City.

  • To Scale Wood Model of Proposed Project - Exterior View looking North East towards New York City
  • To Scale Wood Model of Proposed Project - Exterior Rooftop View looking North East towards New York City
  • To Scale Wood Model of Proposed Project - Exterior View looking West towards Union City, NJ
  • To Scale Wood Model of Proposed Project - Exterior View looking North; Exterior wall of model removed to understand interior spatial relations