Contract - Details, Details: KLF Architectural Systems Office & Showroom, Springfield, Missouri, Designed by Dake Wells Architecture

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Details, Details: KLF Architectural Systems Office & Showroom, Springfield, Missouri, Designed by Dake Wells Architecture

29 July, 2011

-By Jean Nayar


If God is in the details, then it’s easy to see why the 1,400-square-foot showroom/office space of KLF Architectural Systems exudes so much spirit. Against the odds (the new facility occupies a basic, boxy 30-foot by 80-foot. space in a suburban strip mall in Springfield, Missouri, and was produced with off-the-shelf materials on a modest $90,000 budget), Dake Wells Architecture has crafted an inspiring ambience by thoughtfully attending to every square inch of the design of KLF’s new space. As a result, the jewel-box of a setting not only elevates the daily routines of the business owners and employees who work in it, but also artfully showcases KLF’s products with a subtle visual narrative. (Click the "more photos" link, above left, to view more interior images.)

KLF is a relatively new company that evolved from a family-owned business called EFCO Corporation, which is a leading manufacturer of storefronts, curtain walls, and aluminum-frame windows. When the company was purchased by Pella a few years ago, two of the family members that had owned EFCO, Kerry and Cory Watts, launched KLF as a sales rep arm of the business. After running their new business out of a space above their garage for a while, they turned to Dake Wells, with whom they had done business in the past, to create a bona fide workspace and showplace for their projects and products. “We told them we needed four cubicles and a place to meet with potential clients,” says KLF owner Cory Watts. “We didn’t have much more vision than that.”

Working with project architect Mark Wheeler, design firm principals Andrew Wells and Brandon Dake began the process of designing KLF’s space by visiting its manufacturing plant, where its storefront components, curtain walls, and aluminum-frame windows are produced. “We think in analogies to explain ideas,” says Wells, describing the firm’s design approach. “Part of an architect’s job is to tell a story, and just as a poet uses words to express ideas, we used materials and spatial arrangements and lighting—with glass and aluminum as our adjectives and verbs—to tell the story of how KLF’s products are made and recycled,” he says. “The entire space and all of the details reinforce this story.”

The architects’ first step was to divvy up the floor plate into four essential zones—conference, display, work, and back office—to create an environment that would reflect KLF’s business and become a sales tool, while working as a functional office space. A central organizing feature is a blue ribbon-like wall that swoops through one side of the long, narrow space and defines a void within it, like aluminum pushed through a die and extruded to form a distinct cutout. “The curved ribbon wall allows the space to flow and ties the different areas together,” says Wells. “It also stands in contrast to the hard-edged nature of aluminum extrusions and glass and, as a result, highlights these materials.” Within the void defined by the blue wall, a long, custom-designed conference table—made of scrap aluminum from the plant and topped by a sleek 40-foot linear pendant fixture—anchors the client conference area that occupies this side of the space. “The light fixture was our one splurge,” says Wells.

On one side of this conference zone, the architects positioned large, moveable, backlit display panels, made of pegboard and arranged in a saw-tooth pattern, along a perimeter wall. Upon these panels, oversized photographs of completed projects are displayed; behind them, brochures and sales materials are stored on narrow shelves mounted along the wall. On the other side of the conference area, four glass-fronted office spaces run along the opposite perimeter wall. Separating these areas from the conference zone is a series of dividers, composed of salvaged one-inch sections of curtain wall material, stacked vertically between two layers of glass set within a storefront system. Not only do these dividers screen the offices from the conference area while still permitting a sense of transparency, but they also serve as educational tools, enabling the curtain wall product to be explained to clients in section. In the back of the office, a sliding door made of pegboard suspended from an overhead track conceals a workroom that contains a large table used for reading plans and working drawings.

Integrated lighting above and below the reception desk and behind the pegboard panels along one side of the space adds to the energy with hints of sparkle and an unexpected ethereal glow. And the contrast in materials—highly refined, reflective glass and aluminum against the workmanlike pegboard panels and polished concrete floor—gives the space a sense of vitality and balance.  Produced under budget and on time, the new space immediately enhanced KLF’s operations, say the owners. “We’re much more productive,” Watts notes.  “Not only is it a great showcase for people who are interested in our products, but it often catches the attention of people who aren’t our customers. The architects took our space to a whole new level—and it’s definitely helped our business.” 

SOURCE LIST

Who:
Client: Kerry and Cory Watts. Architect, interior
designer, graphics: Dake Wells Architecture; Andrew
Wells, AIA, LEED AP Mark Wheeler, AIA, LEED AP.
Contractor: Missouri Supermarket Builders. Lighting/
engineering consultants: Olsson & Associates. Furniture
dealer: Grooms Office Environments. Photographer:
Architectural Imageworks.

What:
Paint: Sherwin-Williams. Laminate: Formica.
Dry wall: USG. Carpet/carpet tile: InterfaceFLOR.
Ceiling: Armstrong. Lighting: Salvaged existing
fixtures, Neo-Ray, Metalux. Doors: Custom by Ed
Hines Company, Architectural Building Products.
Glass: EFCO. Workstations: Custom by Ed Hines
Company. Workstation/lounge/other seating: Herman
Miller provided by Grooms Office Environments.
Conference table: Dake Wells Architecture designed
custom conference room table. Shelving, architectural
woodworking: Custom by Ed Hines Company.

Where:
Location: Springfield, MO. Total floor area:
1,400 sq. ft. No. of floors: 1. Average floor size: 1,400
sq. ft. Total staff size: 4. Cost/sq. ft. $60/ sq. ft.




Details, Details: KLF Architectural Systems Office & Showroom, Springfield, Missouri, Designed by Dake Wells Architecture

29 July, 2011


Architectural Imageworks

If God is in the details, then it’s easy to see why the 1,400-square-foot showroom/office space of KLF Architectural Systems exudes so much spirit. Against the odds (the new facility occupies a basic, boxy 30-foot by 80-foot. space in a suburban strip mall in Springfield, Missouri, and was produced with off-the-shelf materials on a modest $90,000 budget), Dake Wells Architecture has crafted an inspiring ambience by thoughtfully attending to every square inch of the design of KLF’s new space. As a result, the jewel-box of a setting not only elevates the daily routines of the business owners and employees who work in it, but also artfully showcases KLF’s products with a subtle visual narrative. (Click the "more photos" link, above left, to view more interior images.)

KLF is a relatively new company that evolved from a family-owned business called EFCO Corporation, which is a leading manufacturer of storefronts, curtain walls, and aluminum-frame windows. When the company was purchased by Pella a few years ago, two of the family members that had owned EFCO, Kerry and Cory Watts, launched KLF as a sales rep arm of the business. After running their new business out of a space above their garage for a while, they turned to Dake Wells, with whom they had done business in the past, to create a bona fide workspace and showplace for their projects and products. “We told them we needed four cubicles and a place to meet with potential clients,” says KLF owner Cory Watts. “We didn’t have much more vision than that.”

Working with project architect Mark Wheeler, design firm principals Andrew Wells and Brandon Dake began the process of designing KLF’s space by visiting its manufacturing plant, where its storefront components, curtain walls, and aluminum-frame windows are produced. “We think in analogies to explain ideas,” says Wells, describing the firm’s design approach. “Part of an architect’s job is to tell a story, and just as a poet uses words to express ideas, we used materials and spatial arrangements and lighting—with glass and aluminum as our adjectives and verbs—to tell the story of how KLF’s products are made and recycled,” he says. “The entire space and all of the details reinforce this story.”

The architects’ first step was to divvy up the floor plate into four essential zones—conference, display, work, and back office—to create an environment that would reflect KLF’s business and become a sales tool, while working as a functional office space. A central organizing feature is a blue ribbon-like wall that swoops through one side of the long, narrow space and defines a void within it, like aluminum pushed through a die and extruded to form a distinct cutout. “The curved ribbon wall allows the space to flow and ties the different areas together,” says Wells. “It also stands in contrast to the hard-edged nature of aluminum extrusions and glass and, as a result, highlights these materials.” Within the void defined by the blue wall, a long, custom-designed conference table—made of scrap aluminum from the plant and topped by a sleek 40-foot linear pendant fixture—anchors the client conference area that occupies this side of the space. “The light fixture was our one splurge,” says Wells.

On one side of this conference zone, the architects positioned large, moveable, backlit display panels, made of pegboard and arranged in a saw-tooth pattern, along a perimeter wall. Upon these panels, oversized photographs of completed projects are displayed; behind them, brochures and sales materials are stored on narrow shelves mounted along the wall. On the other side of the conference area, four glass-fronted office spaces run along the opposite perimeter wall. Separating these areas from the conference zone is a series of dividers, composed of salvaged one-inch sections of curtain wall material, stacked vertically between two layers of glass set within a storefront system. Not only do these dividers screen the offices from the conference area while still permitting a sense of transparency, but they also serve as educational tools, enabling the curtain wall product to be explained to clients in section. In the back of the office, a sliding door made of pegboard suspended from an overhead track conceals a workroom that contains a large table used for reading plans and working drawings.

Integrated lighting above and below the reception desk and behind the pegboard panels along one side of the space adds to the energy with hints of sparkle and an unexpected ethereal glow. And the contrast in materials—highly refined, reflective glass and aluminum against the workmanlike pegboard panels and polished concrete floor—gives the space a sense of vitality and balance.  Produced under budget and on time, the new space immediately enhanced KLF’s operations, say the owners. “We’re much more productive,” Watts notes.  “Not only is it a great showcase for people who are interested in our products, but it often catches the attention of people who aren’t our customers. The architects took our space to a whole new level—and it’s definitely helped our business.” 

SOURCE LIST

Who:
Client: Kerry and Cory Watts. Architect, interior
designer, graphics: Dake Wells Architecture; Andrew
Wells, AIA, LEED AP Mark Wheeler, AIA, LEED AP.
Contractor: Missouri Supermarket Builders. Lighting/
engineering consultants: Olsson & Associates. Furniture
dealer: Grooms Office Environments. Photographer:
Architectural Imageworks.

What:
Paint: Sherwin-Williams. Laminate: Formica.
Dry wall: USG. Carpet/carpet tile: InterfaceFLOR.
Ceiling: Armstrong. Lighting: Salvaged existing
fixtures, Neo-Ray, Metalux. Doors: Custom by Ed
Hines Company, Architectural Building Products.
Glass: EFCO. Workstations: Custom by Ed Hines
Company. Workstation/lounge/other seating: Herman
Miller provided by Grooms Office Environments.
Conference table: Dake Wells Architecture designed
custom conference room table. Shelving, architectural
woodworking: Custom by Ed Hines Company.

Where:
Location: Springfield, MO. Total floor area:
1,400 sq. ft. No. of floors: 1. Average floor size: 1,400
sq. ft. Total staff size: 4. Cost/sq. ft. $60/ sq. ft.

 


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