The Loft Library project presents a refuge for its inhabitants. Avid readers both, the clients needed a space to share with their book collection along with a tranquil reading room in which to enjoy it. They needed a place that was their own.

The design team at Storyn Studio for Architecture went to work. The Loft Library provides exactly the kind of sanctuary the clients were looking for. In addition to being a retreat from the main house and the activity of busy days, it also packs in space for sleeping, cooking, and eating so it doubles as a guest house. It accomplishes all of this in 400 sq. ft.

The constraints of the project made this small addition into a highly complex and innovative design. The space available on a small residential lot in St. Petersburg Florida is highly limited making addition projects like this nearly impossible. Storyn’s designers overcame this by transforming the existing, on-site garage with a “light touch” adaptive reuse strategy.

Working within such a small area, the project concept is the design of a single piece of furniture to configure the spaces around it with minimal disruption to the existing shell. The resulting bookshelf is a structural element holding a sleeping loft above, the books within, and quiet study below. From the moment you enter, you are surrounded by books, and given every opportunity to stay and get lost in one of them.

The adaptive reuse strategy keeps sustainability firmly in mind. By making use of the existing, underutilized garage, architect and owners alike rest easy knowing this enhancement to day-to-day life did not come with the hefty environmental cost of a conventional addition.

The total cost for the project was in the sub-six-figures range proving that good design can be accessible to anyone. And, in neighborhoods like this one, there is a high demand for solutions to enlarge living space even where there seems to be no room to do it. This project serves as an example. It shows ways that creative design ideas, accessible to anyone, can transform old buildings to meet new needs.