The Dean of the School of Architecture at Syracuse University - an architect, artist and staunch advocate for urban renewal - approached Fiedler Marciano to assist in the renovation of an historic but dilapidated building in the city’s downtown. The project transforms the former Bank of Syracuse building, erected in 1898, into a live/work space capable of accommodating a variety of social gatherings, ranging from the intimate to the grandiose. On an urban level, the renovation contributes to the continuing renewal of the city’s core and emulates the University’s institutional commitment to the revitalization of downtown Syracuse.

Successive alterations to the bank over the past century desecrated the building’s ornamental marble and plasterwork and reduced the once grand banking hall into a warren of partitioned spaces. The intervention strips away these layers of construction and reclaims the original 35-foot-high vaulted interior, which features large arched windows at either end. A white box strategically placed within the overall volume of the space contains a kitchen, bathrooms and storage areas. The box is positioned to segregate the public living areas at the front of the loft from the master bedroom, bath and library at the rear. Flanking side walls lit from above provide exhibition space for the owner’s collection of art and photography. A minimalist palette of colors and finishes highlights the geometry, proportion and detailing of the original building.

Photos by Stewart Cairns.