Beautiful Workplace Design

GoCstudio re-imagines a century-old Seattle building to house digital product company

studio-office-seattle1US architecture firm GoCstudio has created an open office for a growing tech company that features original brick and timber elements, along with new enclosures made of ebony-stained plywood.

gocstudio_seattle 2.jpgThe office is located within the upper floor of a 100-year-old building in Seattle‘s Capitol Hill district. Encompassing 14,000 square feet, the space serves as a second office for Substantial, a digital product studio.

gocstudio_seattle 3.jpgThe company had occupied a portion of the floor since 2013, and decided to take over the full story when its neighboring tenant moved out. Local firm GoCstudio was charged with overhauling the entire floor, to read as one unified space.

gocstudio_seattle 4.jpgThe challenge was to create a cohesive open-plan workspace which retained the feel of the original Substantial space and would maximize the existing character of the building – exposed brick walls, old-growth Douglas Fir beams and roof decking, and the beautiful warehouse-style window walls.

studio_5.jpgThe architects worked closely with the client to understand day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s love of hosting parties. Their research led to the conception of the office’s signature element: The Forum, an assembly area for social and business activities.

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A large aspect of Substantial’s working practice is the hosting of public and private events thus creating a large social space that could be multifunctional was an important factor in the design of the expansion.

studio_7.jpgThe social space was situated near the entry staircase and looks toward a large reception desk faced with a steel door from the old office. The room is illuminated by a large skylight.

studio_8In the kitchen, the team installed two bars made of cross-laminated timber planks, along with several black dining tables with colorful chairs. Employees can be found working here throughout the day.

cstudio_9Surrounding The Forum are conference rooms, with walls made of black-stained plywood and large panes of glass. Additional enclosures were inserted on the north side of the floor. A large portion of the office is given over to open areas with versatile workstations.

The space is filled with natural light, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides of the building. For the first time in many years, views are opened up through the building, from east to west.

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Other projects by GoCstudio include a low-lying winery that blends with Washington’s natural terrain, and a floating wooden sauna that can accommodate up to six people.
Project credits:
Architect: GoCstudio (Jon Gentry, Aimée O’Carroll)
Builder: Montlake Associates
Lighting Designer: KMJ Design, Kathy Justin
Owner: Substantial
Photography: by Kevin Scott
Read more 

 

Beautiful Lithography Stones

n 2011, while the REI store in the Puck Building in Manhattan’s SoHo district was undergoing renovation, workers made an unexpected discovery. Hidden behind one of the walls of the cellar were more than 100 lithography stones from the building’s days as a printer. They are now on display on the store’s lower floor.

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The historic building got its name from the magazine Puck, the first wide-reaching humor publication in the United States, which was
founded in 1871 and moved to lower Manhattan in 1887. It shared the space, in a mutually beneficial relationship, with its printer, J. Ottman Lithographic Company. Their shared headquarters was the largest building in the printing district at the time.

J. Ottman Lithographic Company printed many things beyond the Puck magazines, including theatrical posters and board games. Among the works now hanging on the REI wall are a high school diploma, a certificate of election, and a mortgage bond. Some of the litho stones are in rougher shape than others.

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Most of the writing and images on the stones is “backwards,” standard practice so that the final print is the reverse of what is seen on the plate or stone. Some, though, were prepared for offset printing, which involves an additional
step between the plate and the final product. The inked image, prepared “forwards,” or as it would be seen in the final product, is first transferred to a rubber blanket, reversing
the image once, and then to the final surface, setting it right.

Puck continued to operate out of the Puck Building until 1918, when it ceased publication. It was known for beautiful, full-color lithographs and sharp political satire. Statues of the magazine’s mascot, Puck, decorate the outside of the building. J. Ottman Lithographic Company shuttered around the same time.
Other printing companies, and even another satirical magazine, have called the building home since the original tenants left.

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During REI’s renovation, a deliberate effort was made to repurpose materials from the original building. Fixtures from the steam engine that powered the presses are on permanent display, including two flywheels and the governor. Nineteenth century I. P. Frink chandeliers, newly fitted with LED lights, help light the main floor.

 Source: Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Old World Movie House

The Wonder Theatres were five giant, lavish movie palaces that opened around
New York City in 1929 and 1930. While cinemas were plentiful at the time, the Wonder Theatres were a cut above the rest. Built as Loew’s flagship theatres, the opulent venues were designed with all the fabulousness of the Jazz Age, and went on to provide an escape into the fantasy of Hollywood and luxury throughout the Great Depression and Second World War.

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The last of the Wonder Theatres to open was the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre, today known as the United Palace Theater. It debuted on February 22, 1930, with showings of the films Their Own Desire and Pearls and vaudeville performances
starring Al Shaw and Sam Lee. The theater is a sight to behold. The lavish interior, much of which is filigreed, features authentic Louis XV and XVI furnishings and ornate chandeliers, while the blocky exterior is reminiscent of Mayan architecture. Its eclectic architectural style, designed by Thomas W. Lamb, was described by The New York Times as “Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco” and a “kitchen sink masterpiece.” With more than
3,000 seats, it is still the fourth largest venue of its kind in Manhattan.

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Movie palaces eventually fell out of vogue, however, and the grand Wonder Theatres fell into decline and abandon in the late 60s and
through the 70s. Today, two of the theaters (the Jersey Theatre in Jersey City and Kings Theatre in Brooklyn) still serve as cinemas and performance venues. Another two (the Paradise Theatre in the Bronx and Valencia Theatre in Queens) became churches.
The United Palace Theater, located in upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights, found a second life as a unique mix of both.

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The former Wonder Theatre still functions as a church, as well as a movie house with a 50-foot screen, and a performance venue that has brought in acts as diverse as Adele, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, and the Berlin Philharmonic. It also serves as a cultural and community arts center, opened by Reverend Ike’s son Xavier Eikerenkoetter, who now oversees operations of the historic venue.

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Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Pop-Up Shop Interiors

Reoccurring conceptual pop-up shops have become the latest and most innovative way to access up and coming ideas in design and fashion. By opening up home spaces to photoshoots, conceptual stores and events, a new trend in home design is emerging.

The Loft is a periodically recurring conceptual pop-up store. It beautifully expresses the eclectic nature of their values with our choice of products. I’m particularly fond of the natural materials like wood, steel, leather, glass, wool and ceramics. These materials tell a lot about the love and attention invested in a product. It shows its age and origin, its history, the way it was crafted. Learn more about the Loft studio here and swoon.

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I love the whimsical nature of the space and objects.

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Beautiful Hermès Reuse – Atelier Petit H

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In an unassuming street in Pantin, the north-eastern Parisian suburb that has become something of an industrial hub for the luxury fashion industry, you’ll find the petit h workshop. Hidden off a leafy courtyard, the open-plan, well-lit room is a laboratory of sorts that houses the exceptional métiers of Hermès under the one roof. The mission here is to transform discarded items from the Maison’s many ateliers, and craft treasures from the odds, ends and off-cuts with the help of a roster of artists and designers like Christian Astuguevielle, Parme Marin, and Isabelle Leloup.
Read the interview here via Cereal Magazine

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petith_portrait4petith_portrait3PetitH_portrait5.jpgpetith_portrait6petith_portrait8PetitH_portrait9.jpgpetith_portrait10PetitH_portrait11.jpgpetith_portrait12Photography: Rich Stapleton
By: Alice Cavanagh

Beautiful Reupholstery Project

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In a recent post
I gushed about my obsession with blue velvet and it just wasn’t going away so I decided to do something about it. Enter an old worn out but very comfortable chair that has been the favorite lounging spot for no less than 3 dogs along with numerous humanoids. Not one to let it go to waste, I decided to reupholster it in none other than a vintage blue velvet. Seattle has many wonderful places to shop but is very lackluster when it comes to fabric stores. Somebody please open a fabric warehouse, but I digress. This minor hitch gave me the perfect reason to visit MOOD in LA and lucky me I got there 15 minutes before they closed knowing exactly what I was looking for. Not realizing how huge it was I could have spent an entire day perusing the place if it weren’t for my single-mined journey to find the perfect blue velvet; albeit an affordable one.

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These images are before photos. A couple of things I discovered about the reupholstery business is; as a profession they are in decline but the flip side to that is the ones who are still in it have a long backlog of work to do and it’s not something you can “speed up”. My chair is at least 8-10 out before I can post after photos unless I get lucky and find someone who can do it sooner than later. I am so excited to see the end result.

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Beautiful Sculpture

Nestled in the hills just south of Napa, CA
is the fabulously fun Glashoff  sculpture gallery
and garden in Suisun City, CA. Be sure to check
it out if you are ever in Napa. Phillip Glashoff
continues the tradition of the lifestyle he was
born to on his northern California ranch.
His real passion is creating sculpture out of
scrap metal. The results dot the landscape
of the ranch; herds of steel sculpted cattle,
giant banjos, and archways made of street signs
just to name a few of which must be hundreds.

My favorite is the wind-up toy car that sits atop
a pole in the middle of the sculpture garden.
car

The kangaroo is made entirely of
recycled bolts.
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Charming figure do the landscape including
a cowboy and his horse.
tonto

Candyland game sculpture made of
recycled metal and steel materials
candyland

This charming TP Lady holds all
your toilet needs and towels.
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Dancing Girl
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Sculpture Garden – Great place to wander.
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Beautiful Googie Architecture

In 1953, Seattle artist Lewis Nasmyth was hired to “rustle up” a design
for a western-style gas station in Georgetown. Featuring a 44-ft. wide
cowboy hat and 22-ft. high boots, the Hat n’ Boots opened the next year
to a stampede of customers. In fact, for a time it was the biggest selling
station in the state. Legend has it even Elvis dropped by when he was in
town during the World’s Fair in ’62. But in the early 60’s, a new interstate
I-5 started diverting traffic away from the station. By the late 80’s it
pretty much looked like trail’s end for the Hat n’ Boots. That’s when some
Georgetown residents saddled up to rescue the soul of their community
established a permanent home for them in Oxbow Park.

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Beautiful Historic Architecture

Trolling around Queen Anne Hill this week
inspires me to share an example of beautiful reuse.
Old Queen Anne High School, designed by James Stephen
in 1899, is a Neo-classical building that sits high atop
Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. Originally noted for its
spacious corridors, ample exits, and abundant light
and fresh air it was considered “modern” when it
was constructed. Today is houses, in all its
Neo-classical glory, high-end condominiums.
An excellent example of the adaptive reuse of
historic buildings.
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Beautiful Antique Iron Bar

This is a beautiful example of reuse.
Back in the day when light bulbs were
new on the market, Germans had big,
bulbous machines for testing light
bulb voltage. Today these large, 1920s
machines are being re-purposed as bar carts.
Antiqued-Iron-Bar-Crafted-From-A-1920s-Light-Bulb-Tester-1 Antiqued-Iron-Bar-Crafted-From-A-1920s-Light-Bulb-Tester-3 Antiqued-Iron-Bar-Crafted-From-A-1920s-Light-Bulb-Tester-4 Antiqued-Iron-Bar-Crafted-From-A-1920s-Light-Bulb-Tester-5 Antiqued-Iron-Bar-Crafted-From-A-1920s-Light-Bulb-Tester-6 Iron-bar-2