Guiding clients on custom homes involves hours of making selections with them for every item-from brick and stucco, roofing, doors, windows, ceramic tile, granite countertops, kitchen cabinets and laundry areas, bathroom fixtures, lighting, to the multitude of materials and products needed to create a new home. This project created a central sales facility for a national homebuilder, where homeowner’s decisions are guided by designers, once the construction contract is signed.
Adjacent to the homebuilder’s offices, a 10,000 SF space that had previously been “office warehouse” was tapped for the facility, with its typical “one side only” windows and extremely high bays devoid of daylight. The challenges were to create space where the right lighting was present for material selections, to allow for as many as eight designers on the floor at a time with their clients, to accommodate kitchen and bath vignettes that could be easily changed (when material suppliers or color trends were modified), all while showing off the construction techniques, and quality materials used by the homebuilder creating the custom homes.
The extensive area without daylight became a challenge. It was determined that while kitchen and bath products are typically utilized under incandescent lighting, most other things require daylight for proper color coordination and selection. The project became a “split” design with a 10 ft.ceiling over the vignettes of “inside the home” areas of decision separating these from the high bay space “daylight” area near the windows. A sweeping piano curve ceiling edge was created to seerate the two and a vast lighting display spanned the area between.
Glass block widows were inserted along one exterior wall to increase the amount of daylight space, to displays created to exhibit stone, brick, stucco and related materials. Throughout the space the only materials used are those found in the builders’ homes including doors, windows, trim, hardware and recessed lighting. To reduce the number and size of commercial HVAC registers in the GWB ceiling area (inappropriate for a “home like” setting) the black open ceiling area contains most supply runs, with open returns carefully hidden at the rear of the space.
The owner reports sales are up significantly, and an undecided land owner being pursued by the company signed on after seeing the quality of the center.