The Vision and Design Process
By Marie Barron, Designer, The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects
The Kastrop Group prides itself on “designing for your reality,”–helping our clients envision the beautiful and boundless potential they can experience in their built environment. The following is a short case study of a project that exemplifies this standard, and is now under construction near the heart of downtown Redwood City.
It was an old sheet metal shop, believed to date back to sometime around the 1920’s. Worn, corrugated sheet metal provided a thin cover to its bare wood studs, and its interior was filled with workshop tables and left-behind supplies. The client came to us with a strong vision and saw great potential in this old warehouse that many could easily have discarded or overlooked. He saw his future home.
Once he came to our firm for guidance on the design and permitting process, we began by looking into the parcel map and had a survey conducted to locate the lot’s property lines. We found that there were actually 2 buildings on the site – the sheet metal shop warehouse, along with a small residence next to it. We would need to apply for a Use Permit to transform this into a completely residential lot, along with an Architectural Permit presentation of the aesthetic and design logic in order to obtain the City’s planning department support. A constant dialogue between ourselves, the client, and the city, was fused into the final design.
By retaining the existing building’s footprint and perimeter walls, we could stay within the 0-ft setback lines that existed on this already-small lot. The design challenge then became how to take this warehouse and turn it into a functional, comfortable living space, designing from the outside-in. Taking advantage of the high ceilings, two bedroom suite lofts were created on either end, opening up to meet at the airy, double-height central living space that showcases the building’s beautiful existing wood trusses.
The design embraces the industrial look and history of the site, with metal siding and plates of corten steel wrapping its sides, capped with a standing seam metal roof. This industrial aesthetic carries on into the home, with exposed ducts and pipes threading along the high ceiling of its central space. A touch of warmth for its residential turn was brought in with weathered wood siding covering the inner residential courtyard walls, tucked away from the street, as well as a recessed living wall proposed on the opposite side. A careful selection of refined interior finishes will also contribute to the softening of the home’s interior.
This home is currently under construction. Stay tuned for some progress photos as we near completion!