Located in a former 1960s fork-lift showroom along a busy commercial highway in an economically depressed neighborhood, Due to the building’s immediate adjacency to the highway, the primary design goal was for the facility to serve as a highly visible “billboard” for the company. Second, was the creation of a new and positive image for the business through the progressive design of the facility.
One challenge was to design and prepare drawings in a four-day period for a construction completion timeline of ten weeks. Due to budgetary constraints, the focus of the design was the lobby with finish selection only for non-lobby areas, including offices, restrooms and breakroom. A balcony was inserted into the existing paneled wall to create depth within the space. Coupled with a new steel and concrete stair, it offers the owner an attractive space for future second floor tenants. Because of the small budget and desire to create a space that could be read from the highway, varied use of bold color and lighting became important elements and was applied throughout. Fluorescent lights were installed with acrylic panels on both wall and ceiling. The elliptical ceiling form was tilted to create a massive fixture seen from the highway. A sloped acrylic ceiling was added in the corridor with inwardly skewed walls to modify the depth perception of the existing hallway.
From the highway, this bright palette is visible; however, it is not until entering the space that the full spectrum becomes evident. Colors and textures combined with “off-the-shelf” inexpensive materials such as VCT flooring, wood and steel staircase, finish grade birch veneer plywood ceiling, acrylic panels, exposed concrete landing and airplane cable guardrails help project a great deal of energy and add richness within the space.
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