PROJECT Sandtown Furniture Headquarters
ARCHITECT PI.KL Studio:Pavlina Ilieva, Kuo Pao Lian, Donna Ryu, Courtney Richeson
GENERAL CONTRACTOR Commercial Interior Consturction
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Skarda & Associates, Inc.
CIVIL ENGINEER MK Consulting Engineers
MECHANICAL ENGINEER Thomas Foulkes, PE
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER Thomas Foulkes, PE
PHOTOGRAPHER/RENDERER Steven Norris
LOCATION Baltimore, Maryland, US
PROJECT COMPLETION DATE 9/1/2023
Existing Context + Program:
This project began with Sandtown Furniture’s vision to build their forever-home in an existing warehouse in the industrial Pigtown neighborhood of Baltimore. The 30,400 SF warehouse originally served as the generator house for Chesapeake Gas Company, then became a manufacturing warehouse for gas ranges, and is now the home of custom furniture artisans. The ultimate programmatic goal of the project was to create an inspired and sacred space for making beautiful objects, able to also transform into an event space that functions as a furniture showroom, a gallery, and even a wedding venue.
Solution + Design Intent:
The existing building is a reflection of the many iterations of uses it has served, resulting in a beautiful tapestryof textures. Its renovation was therefore an exercise of restraint and thoughtful intervention in order to let these layers of history play a meaningful architectural role. With its clerestory windows and fast openness, there was a clear analogous relationship between the architecture of the existing warehouse and the architecture of a church. The church archetype therefore served as an important inspiration in pursuit of designing a sacred space for making.
Entering through a large steel door and into a dark clad vestibule, the user is lead up a ramp, and moves from the compression of the vestibule to the release of the light filled showroom, mirroring one’s procession from a church vestibule into the narthex. A large glass wall separates the woodshop from the gallery and serves as a secondary threshold condition as one moves into the workshop. The machinery, located in the “nave” of the building, is aligned along the main axis, flanked by aisles and workstations on each side. At the crossing is access to auxiliary spaces, including the staff lounge and courtyard which serve as an important space for rest. The existing overhead structure of the courtyard is exposed to create a trellis condition and a garage door was added to create an uninhibited connection with the courtyard, allowing the two spaces to become one for events. While Sandtown Furniture headquarters primarily functions as a woodshop, the intentional and meaningful arrangement of program becomes a celebratory backdrop, allowing the building to continue its history of taking on many uses.
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Sandtown Furniture Headquarters
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