In Long Island City, Queens, one building that may look like a rundown, old warehouse on the outside is a state-of-the-art storage facility on the inside. When the tenant, Choice Logistics, found this space, the building was a decrepit mess. The company considered tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch, but instead put up a building within the building, finding it a more affordable way to design a space.
First, the exterior was cleaned and sealed for weatherproofing and then walls were put up within the structure’s existing walls.
"So we built out from the interior face of the outside wall this sheetrock tunnel, or a 'cave' if you will," says Scott Spector of Spector Group Architects. "Our ceilings were all two-by-two acoustical grid ceiling and above that we are sprinklered. We kept all of our steel structure and timber structure, because that was in good shape, and then we cosmetically cleaned up the whole facility."
Creating a space within a space also allowed the customized design to be energy-efficient.
They say this reduced the energy bills by 30 to 40 percent.
The building is equipped with a state-of-the-art security system, but the old facade offers an extra layer of protection. It's so non-descript that no one would know there is such a high-tech facility inside.
Experts say building within buildings is the newest trend in real estate, and it is often more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and time-saving.