Under tight zoning and budget constraints, we were mandated to maintain the existing building’s envelope, even though the structure was nearly rebuilt in its entirety. Originally built in the 1930’s, this storage shed was once literally cut in half in order to widen the road, and was nearly beyond repair when we began.
The new exterior is formed by two sizes of off-the-shelf standing-seam metal, and form a subtle graphic line that ‘cuts’ through two windows. This band wraps continuously up and over the roof, its surface kept clear of equipment or vents, and once again returns to the ground. At the entry, the metal seams peel away from the building in the form of diagonal awning supports. Unapologetically industrial in nature, the building’s materiality is at home in its context, while its patterning and dynamic graphic stance strikes a distinct urban figure. The bold façade is an appropriate counterpart to the often heavily trafficked street it sits on, echoing industry, movement and speed.
Conversely, the interior is an exercise in restraint and calm. Above the front doors, the awning acts as a light shelf to reflect sunlight deep into the structure’s ceiling. The original wood trusses were refinished and kept in place to remind one of the history contained in even this most insignificant industrial structure, while new oak panels line a simple geometric bench and create a warm glow. We also felt it was appropriate to leave traces of the building’s storied use in the heavily marked concrete floor, which contrasts well with the crisp new open interior.
AIA San Fernando Valley Design Merit Award 2019