Let’s go inside the infill at one of the smallest development projects in downtown: SugarSquare, the 10,800 square foot addition to the historic Sugar Building and sibling to SugarCube.
The four-story SugarSquare is filling in a 25-foot wide gap between the six-story Sugar Building and the two-story historic neighbor at 1540 Wazee. There definitely was a building once on this site, as the project team at Urban Villages found evidence of an old foundation during excavation. But we don’t know what it looked like as no one can find a photograph of the structure that formerly occupied the gap.
We do know what the new SugarSquare will look like though, thanks to the nice rendering below from Semple Brown Design, showing SugarSquare’s minimalist glass-and-steel design. A peek through a window from inside the Sugar Building shows SugarSquare rising on the other side of the glass. Some of these windows will be converted into doors, allowing movement between the old and the new structures for the office tenant that is leasing both spaces.
SugarSquare doesn’t quite extend all the way to the rear property line, as the photo below taken from the alley shows. But SugarSquare does fill virtually the entire width of the narrow lot, leaving only a small gap with the neighboring building at 1540 Wazee. If the neighbor’s 1880s-era brick wall doesn’t look plumb, that’s because it isn’t—a detail that added complexity to the design and construction of SugarSquare.
Inside on the ground floor, the historic Sugar Building’s brick wall remains exposed along with the new structure’s steel beams. Open stairways lead to the second floor and the basement, where a passage connects to the Sugar Building’s underground level.
Moving up to the second floor, we can get a better view of SugarSquare’s steel beams that adjoin it to the Sugar Building. The third floor, fourth floor, and roof are only partially in place, creating at this moment in time a neat stair-step effect to the building’s cross section.
That’s as far up inside the building we could get but, thanks to my tour guide Jesse Bank from Urban Villages, we were able to check out SugarSquare from above via the Sugar Building’s roof. Here are a few vertigo-inducing shots looking down on SugarSquare, including a panorama even:
While we were up on the roof of the Sugar Building, we couldn’t help but take a few shots of the surrounding downtown area. Enjoy!