Home to one of Tucson’s historic ice manufacturing plants the Ice House Lofts are the conversion of a 1923 Arizona Ice and Cold Storage Company building into 51 distinctive lofts. The design preserves the authentic industrial character of the existing building’s exterior shell and pairs it with contemporary design. The combination of old and new is breathtaking. Residents enjoy a gym, pool and other amenities, but the best amenity is the Ice House Lofts’ proximity to the newly revitalized downtown Tucson.
Adaptive re-use of an abandoned building for housing fosters a ‘smart growth’ model of development that meets the needs of those with a desire to live in the city while saving an old building and neighborhood from neglect. Materials reclaimed from the interior of the old building gain new life as courtyard and pool fencing, while equipment used in the ice making process are sandblasted and re-displayed as entry markers for the project. New exterior architectural elements such as balconies and shading devices are detailed in a manner which purposely contrasts the old with the new. In doing this, the scale normally associated with industrial architecture is broken down and is made both humane and usable for its occupants.
The project was developed with our partners Phil Lipman and Warren Michaels and required close collaboration with city officials, consultants and contractors. From the re-zoning of the property to assistance with marketing, we worked hand in hand with development partners to create a successful award-winning project. The success of the project has given other developers courage to take on other inner city development projects as Tucson seeks to re-define and re-build its downtown.