Design Team: Matt Fajkus, AIA, Jason David Smith, Marc McCollom

Once a factory building for the Sears Roebuck Company, the Southside Building is now converted into hundreds of lofts in the upper floors with retail and other amenities on the ground floor. At the top floor, the Plug + Go Loft contains a large freight elevator shaft with its respective vertical overrun for pullies and machinery, which the client asked to be temporarily converted into a bedroom.

Since adaptability is a key to sustainable design and the occupant’s stay was set to be approximately six months, an inexpensive and quick solution was required. A designed kit of parts converts the former factory freight elevator shaft into a temporary bedroom to easily install and uninstall. The design challenge of offering enclosure for the 8-foot wide doorway was resolved with a sliding curtain, strategically anchored into the old masonry at precise angles to optimize tensile and compressive strength. A second curtain provides and ethereal separation from the closet zone, which is also composed of elements which easily deconstructed to be removed or refitted.