A new way to live and work in the heart of Salt Lake City, Mya, at four stories and 130,000 square feet creative community coworking space, and catalytic ground-level retail in a holistic, world-class, mixed-use community. The exterior responds to a challenging urban site and programmatic changes within the building through gradual massing changes and subtle interior shifts. Large, glazed apertures in the facade celebrate entrances and connected, communal interior spaces.
Within, Mya holds 126 thoughtfully-designed apartments and a unique coworking and collaboration space. Units maximize style and affordability through efficient design, built-in furniture, and flexible layouts. The Shop (version 2.0 of its successful predecessor at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans) features 30,000 square feet of flexible workspace, a roof deck, multiple meeting rooms, and comprehensive amenities aimed at stimulating local entrepreneurship and small business development.
The residential component features 126 units that leverage creative furnishing and efficient layout to reduce waste and increase rentable square footage. This approach provided sustainable community development, delivering affordable living in a high demand downtown area with a level of amenities and services typically found only in other market price points. Mya was able to dedicate a portion of units solely to low-income households.
This model was made possible through unique funding sources, which included housing incentives, conventional loans, tax credits, and grants from public/private sources. The crux of the overall financial model is that each program component (Residential, Retail, Co-working) feeds and works off each other to create a well balance eco-system—a live-work-play destination.
A question arose in the planning process for the project’s massing: how do you pair three seemingly different programs, pack them all comfortably in 130,000 square feet of space, and blend them seamlessly on a long and narrow key lot site. The team to gently articulate the project at strategic locations, creating opportunities for outdoor public plazas, and distinct entries for both the commercial and residential components of the project.
Program, Personality, and Scale
At the ground-floor retail program, a large, glazed section offers easy visual access to passerby. Recessed from the main face of the building, the design simultaneously enables easy thoroughfare for pedestrian traffic. Immediately above, facing the most heavily trafficked intersection bordering the building, a carved aperture on the façade frames the two main areas of coworking for The Shop SLC. On the neighboring face, a similar aperture showcases a central communicating stair running from the second to third floor of the coworking area, creating a vibrant window into the activity occurring within.
As the eye traverses the building from front to back, a dance happens, introducing several serrations in the facades that signify the transition from retail and workplace to residential. This is simultaneously the moment when the construction of the building transitions from steel and concrete framing to stick-built. A similar dance happens in the windows, the building advancing from rigor of crisp articulations and regular windows for retail and workplace to larger, more expansive openings appropriate for residential configuration.
Coworking and Community
The second coworking outpost of The Shop developed in collaboration with Domain Companies, this 30,000 square foot space features flexible workspace, a roof deck, multiple meeting rooms, and comprehensive amenities aimed at amplifying local entrepreneurs and start-ups, while simultaneously offering a flexible space for community events and programming. Natural woods, patinated leathers, black steel, and antiqued brass accents are used to afford a rustic yet sophisticated aesthetic.
Similarly, wood slat ceiling reference rail tracks of the pioneering days, while graphic wall coverings provide reference to the surrounding landscape. The Shop delivers an inclusive environment and business services above their peers. Designed to encourage collaboration and networking, the space supports startups with affordability and high design, plug and play services, business resources, educational sessions, shared amenities, and programing specifically design for business incubation.
Green Space with Health and Wellness In Mind
In recessing the building from the property line of the site, the project offered an inclusion frequently unusual for Salt Lake City: a generous landscaped exterior, for residents and the public alike. Here, residents are afforded additional breakout space beyond their micro-units, and pedestrians offered an accessible thoroughfare through a heavily trafficked east-west corridor. The sitting areas aligns with the meandering mid-block pedestrian walkway and sets for great views towards the Public Library, a great spot to enjoy the outside. As a highlight to this surplus of outdoor space, the roof of this building provides a terraced deck for participants of The Shop to use at their leisure.
Creating a Canvas with Architecture
Rather than just a backdrop, the elevation of the building becomes a canvas on which to support and make visible local art. The design and client team partnered with local artist Phillip Adams, who hand-painted a lenticular mural across the rear façade of the building from a story inspired by a local Sale Lake legend and the building form. It’s entitled ‘The Return of Pink Floyd.’”
The project simultaneously pursued lower carbon and energy use through building certifications and incentives—including EnergySTAR—which again, came with cost efficiencies. Through a partnership with Rocky Mountain Power and their subscriber solar program, Mya has initiated a fully energy offset program with the only natural emissions from a rooftop fire pit. In turn, an electric building with almost no natural gas emissions resulted in the cost efficiency of the design actually exceeded the typical cost of a traditional building. Source by Domain Companies.
Photo © Austen DiamondLocation: Salt Lake City, Utah, USAArchitect: EskewDumezRippleProject Team: Steve Dumez, Hussein Alayyan, Kim Nguyen, Gianna Morelli, Jill Traylor, Waleed AlGhamdi, Jose Alvarez, Sam LevisonInterior Design (The Shop): EskewDumezRippleInterior Design (Residential): Farouki FaroukiWayfinding: ZARArea: 130,000 square feetYear: 2022Photographs: Tim Hursley, Austen Diamond, Courtesy of CAMERON MACALLISTER GROUPPhoto © Tim HursleyPhoto © Austen DiamondPhoto © Austen DiamondPhoto © Austen DiamondPhoto © Austen DiamondPhoto © Austen Diamond