May 4, 2008

My Design Board for the 10th Street Lofts

My design board for 10th Street Lofts, 1010 St. Charles St., St. Louis, MO. (Click on images to see larger view.)

It's been a while since I posted. One thing keeping me busy is my project to design the lobby for the 10th Street Lofts, downtown St. Louis -- 33 loft condos.

I created a design board for the 10th Street Lofts' board to review. Though I have been in business for 5 years plus, this is my first design board. I do mostly residential projects that don't require a full-scale design board, only the random rendering and gathered samples.

While my training has been informal -- I shadowed an interior designer in Bangkok, Thailand years ago -- I have benefited from good friends in the business who have mentored me.

Gina Adolphson, my partner for the Haven of Grace project, taught me how to use the prismacolor pens used on velum paper for architectural drawings. She also passed on tips for indicating certain features of the project. At the end of our three hour "training", Gina said: "There, you just got two semesters worth of training in three hours!"

Wow, I owe her.

I know I have much to learn, but I am proud of my first design board. It was tons of work, probably 40 hours total.

Here are the highlights:

My rendering of the corner seating area. The lamp is purposefully drawn over-scale because it is an over-scale lamp, very contemporary, very cool. I rendered this on velum using prismacolor pens that Gina Adolphson lent me. Thanks Gina!

The artwork in the space will be framed in antique (or look-alike) frames painted a high-gloss white. This is a nod to the past with a contemporary twist. The photos or artwork will represent the history of the area buildings when it was the heart of the garment district in St. Louis.

We anticipate partnering with the Missouri History Museum to tell the story using advertisements and photos of the period. We'll colorize these in pop colors for a modern twist. Around the corner will be a display in a more traditional treatment -- museum gallery style -- that will further tell the story.

My rendering of the floor plan was tricky. I wanted to show the amazing floor we are proposing using a new material, a chameleon floor that changes colors with the light and depending where you are standing looks either emerald green or warm steel gray. To my knowledge, this floor has never been introduced in St. Louis. It was proposed to us by Decorative Concrete.

Below photos show the chameleon affect. In the above floor plan I tried to show how the light hitting the floor from the windows brings out the green hue. The overall appearance is a ed look, similar to stained concrete, but more iridescent and changing with the light.

In the upper left-hand corner of the board I presented photos from the early time period, the buildings and people in industry. The Merchandise Mart building is highlighted in orange. The 10th Street Lofts was an annex to the Merchandise Mart, used for various purposes including storage and label making for the garment district.

Most loft buildings in the area have very small lobbies. Ours is nearly 800 square feet, almost two to three times the size of most downtown lobbies. We believe our ample space presents us with a great opportunity to highlight the history of the area. We are grateful for the Missouri History Museum's interest to partner on this project.

Above is an elevation -- one dimensional -- of the mailbox unit wall that will be a focal wall when you enter the lobby. On that wall will be artwork we commission from a graphic designer to highlight items of industry. The table below the artwork will be granite or marble 12 inches deep set on two concrete pillars. We already have the concrete pillars salvaged from the building. The wall will be covered in orange vinyl wall covering. The adjacent elevator surrounds will be a bright, almost lime-green.

The lobby will be industrial in feel. We are leaving the brick and steel walls. Everywhere else we are accenting with lime green and sun-kissed orange. The elevator doors and other doors in the space will be purple, a deep rich plum.

This project has my heart because it is so meaningful and colorful -- telling a story through design gives a space presence beyond its utilitarian purpose. I imagine those who crossed the thresholds of industry long ago to build this great city would be proud that we remember them.

Cross your fingers that our lobby project proceeds as planned!


Whitney Johnson said...

I really love what you have done here Dana. Congratulations -- you have really played to your strengths!

My best,


Craig Sibley said...

Kudos Dana!

I just happen to know someone who could do some fantastic watercolors of architecture! I'll send you a copy of my most recent watercolor of a portrait of Georgia O'Keeffe that I'll be finishing in the next week or so. As you know... architectural paintings would be something I could really sink my teeth into!!!!

cozy at home said...

Hurray for you! My son Cooper was sitting on my lap while I was looking at your drawings. When I made the one with corner seating bigger for us to see, he said, "Mom, I want to buy that room!" (He is four).
My fingers are crossed for you:)

PAT said...

Congratulations, Dana! Wonderful work on the board!


lisa erekson said...

You are so bold in your use of color! I love it. What a fantastic project. Bravo to you in your sense of wanting to preserve a little of the history that make those buildings so charming and treasured. I am a big believer in preserving the old architecture and your theme really promotes remembering why. Way to go, Dana!

Best of luck,


Dana King said...

Anonymous said:

"Please add some flair as now it's so bland and really not eye catching. A lobby needs to catch one's eye, interesting light fixtures, seating for guests waiting, etc. "

Dana says:

My personal policy going forward is that I welcome any anonymous comments of a complimentary nature. Critiques or constructive comments are welcomed/wanted, but going foward such critiques will only be published if the contributer provides his/her identity.

Regarding anonymous's comments: I appreciate your direction. My plan reflects the directions of the loft board to keep seating minimal, provide a minimal look and to use existing lighting with only slight alterations which I don't think compromise any drama or interest. We are adding flair in the artwork and flooring material and by capturing the history through a story told on the walls. I had hoped I communicated that well, but design boards are limiting in that they are only an indication of direction and not the view or reveal of the final project. When the project is finished I will post the photos.

I would really appreciate knowing who "anonymous" is in order to advance this conversation.