Scholar’s Rooftop Apartments

Varco Pruden Buildings

Varco Pruden Builder™ Appalachian Design & Development, Inc. constructed Scholar’s Rooftop Apartments, a modern housing property on the northern edge of downtown Bloomington, Ind.

Through this residential development, Appalachian Design & Development, a full-service design-build, general contracting and construction management firm, developed an approach to apartment construction and urban design that appeals to young professionals.

Located on the corner of Walnut and 15th, Scholar’s Rooftop Apartments is one of downtown Bloomington's newest luxury apartment buildings. The structure is a three-story, mixed-use building that contains 13 luxury apartments, street-level retail space, a parking garage and a scenic rooftop deck landscaped with more than 1,100 square feet of raised bed planters. Each apartment suite is exquisitely finished - from beautiful woodwork, to stainless steel appliances, to modern Tuscan-style finishes. Renters can choose from five thoughtfully-designed, spacious one-bedroom floor plans.

The first floor of the building is supported by a concrete foundation and retaining wall system, and two stories were constructed on top of the first floor using Varco Pruden’s steel building materials and structural elements.

The project uses Varco Pruden’s Panel Rib™ roof in Galvalume™ with a clear-coated metallic finish. Varco Pruden’s TextureClad™ with a stucco appearance in a Sage Green finish is used as the wall system. Additionally, Varco Pruden’s Rigid Frame system is used to allow the maximum amount of column-free interior space. Bar joists are used to support the main roof system and mezzanines. The exterior of the structure also includes natural limestone with rough sawn red cedar.

Both mezzanine floors include eight-foot-wide continuous porches with stair towers at each end. One stair tower is a freestanding four-story unit which allows access to the rooftop deck and garden. Varco Pruden’s structural design was able to accommodate the 28 rooftop raised bed planters allowing the property owner to provide natural landscaping on the small, urban site.

The project was challenging from both a design and logistics perspective. The building’s owner needed to fully utilize the small lot, at a very busy intersection, while complying with local restrictions. The owner also desired a durable, low-maintenance and sustainable building that still offered unique aesthetics and covetable features to attract discerning renters.

Appalachian Design & Development achieved those goals through experience, extensive planning, wise material selections and good, old-fashioned hard work. The permeable square footage of the rooftop garden allowed for the construction of a much larger building and offers a great place for renters and neighbors to grow vegetables and flowers. The beautifully landscaped rooftop patio offers private relaxing with views of nearby Indiana University campus. The sustainable, energy-efficient package complied with local green incentives regarding structure design, material procurement and construction waste.

Jeff Henke, general contractor and designer with Appalachian, said “The owner is really pleased with the final product. The rough sawn cedar accents look great with the stonework and give the façade a more comfortable, homey feel. The building is super durable, maintenance-free and remarkable.”

About Varco Pruden Buildings

VP Buildings logoVarco Pruden Buildings manufactures steel building systems for low-rise commercial and industrial applications. For more information, visit

^ Back To Top