Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
This project, completed in August, 2015, is comprised of 2,100 SF of open loft space serving as offices for a growing young design firm. Created within a former furniture manufacturing warehouse, the existing walls were natural brick with an exposed wood timber frame structure. The design creates an open and flexible floor plan that allows for future staff expansion and demonstrates the firm’s focus on modern design aesthetic, attention to detail, and sustainable design principles. The choice of clear vertical grain (CVG) western red cedar, with clean, modern detailing provided a primary interior finish element that has the impact of a modern furniture element that is custom-fit to the space, an insertion into the historic timber frame building. The result is a sculptural composition of natural materials that offers restrained transparency, feels simple and intentional, and adds warmth and comfort to the space. All new interior partitions are clad in CVG western red cedar (WRC) with a flat 6-inch shiplap profile and 1/4-inch horizontal reveal, using an ultra-matte finish. WRC is introduced at the front entry, and continues into the space to drop down and enclose two smaller offices and a hidden server room. With large windows beyond, glass encloses the front of the offices to allow natural light to penetrate through. The lower WRC ceilings at the offices create an intimate scale and double to conceal a large air-handler above. The ¼-inch shiplap reveal continues throughout the space – around corners and transitions from wall to ceiling. All glass partitions with the wood surfaces are floor-to-ceiling, and the frosted film has ¼-inch voids that align with the shiplap reveals in a random and playful pattern. Careful attention was focused on the design and fabrication of sliding “barn” doors, clad in WRC with ceiling slots and concealed tracks.