Located in the 5th Ward, the 234 Florida building was originally the Gem Hammock & Fly Netting Company, then the Allen D. Everitt Knitting Company until 2004 when the building was left vacant. It was acquired by Pieper Properties in 2008, with whom Quorum Architects, Inc. worked with to renovate the interior of the building. The design objective for this project was to convert the seven-story abandoned factory in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward into a sustainable, innovative office building that would attract and retain corporate tenants while leaving a small ecological footprint. Our solution was to create a contemporary aesthetic for the interior that was modern, yet had timeless appeal and would fit into the context of the Walker’s Point neighborhood. Sleek finishes were chosen to contrast with the massive Cream City brick and timber construction of the historic factory, creating a balance of old and new. We strove to project a visual and textural contrast between the elegant, clean lines of the interior and the authenticity and honesty of the building’s origins.
The modern lobby sets the tone for the rest of the building interior by incorporating natural materials and a muted, sophisticated color palette. The simplicity of lines, lack of visual clutter and the judicious use of contemporary seating pieces create a relaxed, serene business environment. Common areas visually link the individual office suites through the use of selected finish groupings for each tenant space, which allow for individual identity while maintaining a cohesive overall aesthetic.
Much attention was paid to the durability, sustainability and aesthetic appeal of each material that was used in the common areas & and options for tenant build-outs. 234 Florida was approved for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Quorum Architects, Inc. is continually working with Pieper Properties to provide space planning & interior design services to future, prospective tenants who wish to look at 234 Florida St for their high-quality, thoughtfully designed work environments. The project and building has received the Mayor’s Award, the WCREW Vision Ingenuity Award, and a WGBA SE2 (Sustainability and Energy Efficiency) Special Citation award, all in 2009.