This showroom project for a quartz products company located in the San Leandro neighborhood in San Francisco investigates the condition of liminality of a party wall. The project is thus generated from a very simple move: the longitudinal split of the large warehouse space housing the showroom into two discreet entities by a dividing wall. This wall needed to perform tasks on several levels: delineate between showroom space and offices, mitigate between different levels of transparency and enclosures, engage the clients and the displayed products, and generate a visual setting against which to read the existing old wooden trusses. Thus, the investigation of the multi-performative aspect of this party wall while preserving its formal integrity constituted the driving force of the project.
This multi-tasking was achieved through a construction system using a screen of 2" thick plastic laminated wood fins carefully gaged to answer all demands. In fact, the sleek plasticity of the screen defamiliarized our intervention from the existing warehouse shell, which was sandblasted to reveal the warmth of its wooden structure. Also, the sinuosity and striation of the fins subtly referred to the quartz quarries, from which most of the showroom products originate. The wall’s fins are placed such as to offer appropriate levels of opening according to their juxtaposing programs. Moreover, the sheer size of the wall, measuring roughly 120' long and 15' tall, combined with its thin, light constitutive fins renders an ambiguous condition: one of simultaneous massiveness and ethereality.
Finally, we introduced a new program which serves the nearby suburban community : a fully equipped, show kitchen which displays a CaesarStone counter and can be used for free by local cooking clubs twice a month.