Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Beacon of Light : Schematic Development

Our First Take on 322 East Chapel Hill Street, Downtown, Durham, N.C

Using the idea of a beacon, the space is to inspire the customers and workers. It uses light to self guide within and guide new business and customers into the area. The overall idea is to be a starting beacon in Durhams future and bring back the old life the area once had. It will illuminate the night and its surrounding make it's stand in the area to stay.

These are some preliminary sketches that were first designed to help lead us into our direction.
The space it to be opened and utilize every inch of space available.

To tie in with the beacon and flooding of light, We opened up the second level to allow as much light possible to light the area. The second floor had a high enough roof to add in a mezzanine area above. The roof was pushed up to increase head space and also allow more natural light to flow in. In the end, each space has 9' or more of vertical space.
Starting from the left is the entrance. You walk into the lobby which holds a sitting and reception desk that seperates you from the showroom. The staircase is up front to control and open up the traffic flow.
The first floor contains the kitchen, bathroom, and back exit all located in the far back of the space.
The second floor contains more showroom and the conference area.
The top mezzanine contains more show space and also adds back the space that was removed from opening the 2nd floor.

The mezzanine which is pushed 3' up into the ceiling is not revieled from the exterior which still allows the historic look to stay in place.
The front of the building is constructed to its original format with the open display windows that will also shed more light and create a small display area for products.
A CBI sign was made on the interior which will be light up as well on a light box. This creates their signage without extruding onto the street
When first entering the space you walk into the lounge area. This provides seating and the reception desk which will all be part of the showroom display. This also stops the common person from walking into the building to explore the space. A large pane of frosted glass that extends from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor will be placed behind the reception desk to sheild the showroom/work area from the street. It really is designed to make the space private from the open street.
To tie in with the beacon design, the staircase also contains embedded lights that help lead the clients upstairs. It shows them what areas they can access as well as light up the steps at night.
The staricase contains a small sitting area which will also act as a display case for the street. Above is a light shelf that is made to flood light into the street making the building an actual beacon at night. It can also be used to house more chairs to be seen from the exterior.

Behind the lounge area is the work stations of the workers. It will be kept on the first floor for them to easily work and reach the facilities (kitchen, restroom, copier) in the space. The walls are darkened to create a more relaxing work area for the workers. The room also acts as a showroom with a few light boxes as well.
Even the bathroom works as a showroom. The shelving provided follows the same light box effect which will display smaller models of furniture in the space.

The second floor is where much of the light will flood into. It contains a showroom space as well as the conference area in the back. The mezzanine area can be seen from this view.

The conference room located under the mezzanine helps create a semi private facility that will shield it from the work space downstairs. The space is made more intimate and directs its attention to the screen. The beams contain embedded lights to create a more open space without having lights hanging around. The left wall is created of frosted glass to help enclose the area as well seperating the traffic flow upstairs. It also shields the room from direct sunlight provided by the windows.
The final stop of the space is the mezzanine level. Located at the very top, the ligh boxes will act as the last guiding beacon to the above space. The light extruded from all the boxes will attract the clients to the top as well as flood the lights above highlighting the roof top of the building from the exterior. The light is to lead you all the way through the showroom space to the last stop on the top. As you look down, you will see a transcending well lit space overlooking the showspace.
In the end, you and the clients should feel inspired.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Beacon Of Light

Beacon: A person, act, or thing that warns or guides.
A person or thing that illuminates or inspires.

322 E. Chapel Hill St will be a newly renovated building that will revive a part of downtown Durham that has been abandoned and neglected. The new design will act as a beacon to lure in new businesses and attract more people into the area making it a thriving city it once was again. It will merge the old with the new and forming a new community in the downtown area. The experiance of new 322 will be one of inspiration and confort. It will be a beacon of new ideas and inspiration that will lead us into a better future.

Lights will guide you throughout the space making it a beacon to guide you and highlight the displays.