T H E V I T A M I N F A C T O R Y
The inspiration for the Vitamin Factory was the industrial heritage of a neighborhood in transition. Innovative ideas were explored to create four new residences and a garage that would preserve the old building fabric and allude to the community’s industrial past. The site is located in an aging mixed-use area on the east side of Warburton Avenue, a major thoroughfare running parallel to the Hudson River, that was once a vibrant downtown when Hastings-on-Hudson was a factory town. Pedestrian access to the “Old Quarry Trail,” a public park bordering the site to the south, is an important feature of the new development, allowing the public to explore a former rail line used to transport marble from the quarry located uphill from the site down to the river.
Several zoning variances were necessary in order to extend the walls of the old factory building, since current zoning regulations require 12 foot setbacks and a maximum 50% lot coverage. The existing structure has zero lot line walls and 98% lot coverage, consistent with the neighboring buildings built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. All local approvals were granted, after presenting the
sustainable benefits of the development, including adaptive reuse of a building that is a remnant of the Village’s industrial past, proximity of residential units to mass transit and community services to reduce dependence on fossil-fueled vehicles, and creating a higher density of residential units for the 0.13 acre lot to conserve open land used for residential development.
On the exterior of the building, the buttressed concrete walls of the former factory building have been restored, and refaced with stucco and brick. The original entrance to the factory remains, and is now used as the entrance to a common garage. The residents’ cars are concealed from view, retaining the pedestrian nature of the neighborhood, most of which was built before the introduction of cars. On the ground floor level at the front of the building, a 1,079 square foot two-bedroom residence has been designed to have a large loft-like living space with generous daylighting. The street façade along this unit is treated with a factory aesthetic with
industrial-sized paned windows painted black. The front façade has a tall parapet wall, capped with a black-painted cornice, to conceal roof decks from view at the street level.
At the second floor level, three two-story 1,926 square foot townhouses have been designed to be set back 16 feet from the front façade, providing a buffer between the living units and the busy street below. The townhouses consist of living, dining, kitchen, and family area at the lower level, and three bedrooms and two baths at the upper level. The floor plans are compact but open, providing a space-efficient small-house layout and a reduced carbon footprint, without sacrificing function and comfort. Roof terraces and decks at each of the levels of the townhouses connect the living environment to the exterior. The interior spaces along the roof terraces are loft-like,
with no interior supports, and open to the outdoors with a wall of large glass doors to create a sense of light and transparency. Delicate metal balconies at the second floor master bedrooms allow the inhabitants to have breathtaking river views.
A new metal bridge and stairway at the southwestern corner of the building connecting the public sidewalk to the Quarry Trail below, along with the other design features that serve as a reminder of local history, honor the community’s industrial past while creating special residences that re-invigorate the neighborhood of today.