Live/work space in Palm Springs. Built in 2007, The Towers is a 20-unit complex designed by O’Donnell + Escalante Architects. The buildings consist of a simple, yet durable material palette of block walls, concrete floors, steel overhangs and floor-to-ceiling glass. Originally intended as condominiums, the complex was sold during the recession with individual units repurposed as rentals, some of which became live/work spaces for artists, designers and professionals. The challenged economy gave rise to the need for flexibility, particularly in real estate. Our design concept elaborates on the ideas of consolidation and flexibility. As live and work functions merged, spaces and furniture also required dual purpose. Public areas on the first floor include a living room that doubles as a client waiting and meeting area. A combined kitchen and dining zone accommodates food preparation for daily meals, entertaining or office functions. The private upper level includes an office loft and two bedrooms, one of which can be transformed into a guest room or secondary office. Ample natural light floods the entire unit which makes it an ideal place to live and work. The bright interior draws focus to locally sourced mid-century furniture and art that pays homage to desert modern design.
Renovation of a Palm Springs vacation rental and winter retreat for a Chicago-based client. The original 1,800 sq.ft. house was designed in 1946 by renowned architect Albert Frey. Our mission was to create a fantasy getaway for vacation renters and the client to feel as if they were transported back to another place and time. To achieve this, vintage furniture and colorful artwork were added to create a bright and futuristic environment. Furniture groupings were placed near large expanses of glass to direct views to the San Jacinto Mountains. As the project progressed, the client expressed a need for future expansion, so we proposed a covered outdoor entertaining area to connect the existing home to a new casita. Respecting Albert Frey's aesthetic, we studied his Palm Springs architecture and incorporated similar forms, materials and details into the new structures.
Showroom tenant improvement for a San Diego distributor of an Italian-based kitchen line, known for its award-winning designs. The company’s philosophy is distinguished by a common thread: the kitchen should be a living space at the heart of the home, one that is functional and social. These kitchens incorporate the technology for professional chefs and adapt them to the requirements of domestic life. Keeping these principles in mind, the distributor worked closely with the Italian headquarters to determine the appropriate displays for the San Diego market. After final showroom plans were approved, we managed construction and implemented precise build-out details with a local contractor. The showroom opened as the central work and meeting space where homeowners can directly interact with the displays, select materials and choose a customized layout specific to their lifestyle.
Proposed 1,300 sq. ft. modern residence for a couple in San Diego. The challenge was to design a building that maintains a feeling of spaciousness on a small lot, so the focus was to visually and physically extend the floor plan through large expanses of glass to connect the interior to enclosed outdoor areas. The idea was to make the rooms feel more open and provide a healthy link to the near-perfect San Diego climate. Efficiency is sustained through use of eco-friendly materials, low-irrigation landscaping, ample natural lighting and cross-ventilation. A private roof garden increases usable outdoor space and serves as an additional blanket of insulation for the entire structure.
Branding and website design for andrewgartland.com. The company provides consulting services for small businesses in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. The graphics were intentionally kept minimal to match the company’s straightforward work style. For the design concept, we found inspiration in the desert photographing windmills to represent the company brand. Windmills are a strong and familiar landscape feature throughout the Coachella Valley and serve as symbols of simplicity, order, efficiency and technological progress. These representations are significant because they accurately describe the company’s approach in strategically positioning their clients’ businesses for the future.
Kitchen renovation for a 'Stick Style Victorian,' originally built in 1898 in San Diego's Sherman Heights historic district. At the time of construction, it was an elaborate middle class home, but years of neglect had faded the Victorian’s beauty. Homeowners with a passion for preservation (and enthusiasm for color) restored the historic home to its former glory, thoughtfully bringing it into the 21st century by creating a chef-quality kitchen that would complement the home's traditional character. The couple's daily and annual rituals were studied and a custom kitchen was designed to accommodate day-to-day domestic needs along with the needs of entertaining friends and family, where both clients could work comfortably in the same space.
wd.stl.tbl [wood.steel.table] is intentionally named as it was designed, stripped down to its simplest form to expose the table's materials - reclaimed wood and raw steel. The goal was to locally craft a functional, eco-friendly, one-of-a-kind furniture piece through as little material as structurally possible. To achieve this, steel was imbedded into finger jointed wood so the table could support itself without the aid of bulky structure. As a nod to mid-century Danish furniture makers, structural lines were brought to the forefront and details were intentionally exposed to highlight their significance. Functionally, the table maintains maximum layout surface area where space is limited. Its standard three sizes makes it ideal for use as a desk, sofa back table or for retail merchandise display. The table reduces its carbon footprint through the use of barn-salvaged wood coated with natural beeswax, carnauba and orange oil - a blend that can be easily reapplied to enhance its beauty and depth of grain. Similar to mid-century Danish furniture, this piece is intended as a keepsake to be passed down to future generations.
Proposed renovation for a Community Theatre in San Diego. The challenge was to boost the organization’s visibility and accessibility by creating a stronger connection between the building and surrounding business district. The existing facade had a dark, defensive presence with small openings. To reinvent its image, we lightened the color, removed windows at the terrace level and added a large sliding door as the grand welcoming gesture to the community. A built-in planter was demolished and stairs were widened to maximize pedestrian access to the multi-functional terrace. Strong graphics on an interior video wall draws the eye into an enlarged lobby which doubles as a gallery for local artists. At night, live stage performances are projected on the exterior screen to give a voyeuristic glimpse of what's happening inside.
Involved in the initial rollout for the first Apple Computer retail stores as an employee at one of America's top architectural firms. Responsibilities included working with the lead design team to ensure Apple's prototype plan would fit in select mall locations around the world. Each store's construction had to conform to current mall tenant improvement guidelines and follow local code requirements. Build-outs were coordinated remotely with contractors and frequent site visits were needed to verify the accuracy of dimensions to Apple's meticulous standards.