Charles Smith Wines by Olson Kundig Architects

Olson Kundig Architects designed a ’5,000-square-foot conversion of an auto-electric garage dating from the 1920s, in downtown Walla Walla Washington, into a “world headquarters” for Charles Smith Wines.’ Flexibility to reconfigure furniture for multi purposed space use was a driving force in the process. The aesthetic is edgy and seems fitting to reflect the vibe of this happenin’ wine brand. The spirit of the former garage was maintained, and I would suggest leveraged, as open bays were maintained to set up for events, with the ability to accommodate food trucks driving right in to the space for some downright dynamic catering. I’m a big fan of Seattle based Olson Kundig Architects, and have written about them here on the FLOR blog on several occasions before (One Room CabinTom Kundig Collection).  Kundig’s signature expressed hand cranked mechanical systems (below), are the operable component for movement of the large glass doors, opening the space to extend a welcome to the street scene beyond. Being a native of the Pacific Northwest myself, I’ve got Charles Smith Wines on my must see list during my next visit.

“The design team was inspired by Charles’s in-your-face attitude to create a raw space that highlights the original aesthetics of the building while inserting highly flexible pieces, including a large unit dubbed the Armadillo. The resulting space can transform from an office, tasting room and retail store into a dining and entertainment venue. The shell of the building—with original brick walls, wood trusses and a concrete floor—received minor structural updates but was otherwise left raw. The team highlighted the automotive history of the building by replacing garage doors with two custom, hand-cranked pivot doors that completely open the space to the street and form an awning for outdoor seating.”

Content sources,  Architectural Record Construction

Image 1Image 2Image 3

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

Dale Chihuly is well known for his gravity defying works in glass. Both colorful and sculptural, he has paved the way leading the avant-garde movement, and the development of glass as a fine art. In May 2012, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum opened in Seattle Washington. The centerpiece of this permanent exhibit is the Glasshouse. A 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space, the Glasshouse is the result of Chihuly’s lifelong appreciation for conservatories. I have had the pleasure of seeing his work first hand, at the  Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. It is a celebration of color, texture and patterning provided by the transparency of his medium. I personally find it to be ‘cathedral like’ in experience, as the scale of the architecture and the work within, inspires in this modern installation, as stained glass would in a more traditional setting. The form and immensity of his work is achieved through a ‘team technique’ to glass blowing which he developed. A talent and undeniable influence on the arts. I am grateful that this work has been encapsulated for experience and enjoyment for generations to come.

Image 1 :, Image 2-4 Chihuly Garden and Glass
Excerpts sourced at archpaper and Chihuly Garden and Glass


Tags: , , , , , , ,

DRY Soda

We are inspired by DRY Soda company headquartered in Seattle, WA.  The image above of their workspace depicts a bright, light-filled environment that has been stripped of unnecessary ornamentation, much like the product they produce. DRY Soda’s founder Sharelle Klaus set out in 2005 to create a soda that was less sweet, allowing the natural flavors to come through. She produced batch after batch of soda in her kitchen until she settled on the perfect flavors : Lavender, Kumquat, Lemongrass and Rhubarb. Since then, the line has grown to include Juniper Berry, Vanilla Bean, Wild Lime and my personal favorite, Cucumber.  The flavors are designed to be paired with food but are equally refreshing solo on a hot summer day, or as many DRY Soda enthusiasts have discovered, as a cocktail mixer.

DRY Soda’s headquarters are located in the Historic Pioneer Square neighborhood. Attached to the workspace, they’ve created a tasting room where you are invited to stop in and sample the unique flavor profiles, perhaps picking up a few four-packs to go!

We think we have a special kinship with DRY Soda – we’re both in the business of re-inventing classic products for modern lifestyles. What could be more classic than carpet and soda! We couldn’t have been more thrilled to see FLOR tiles at work throughout their inspiring space. DRY says that they love having FLOR tiles as it align’s with DRY’s values of employing sustainable business practices and using sustainably sourced products when possible. They also love the flexibility of swapping out tiles as needed – the Tasting Room gets thousands of visitors every year.

Their award winning packaging was created by the Seattle based firm Turnstyle. Interested in giving DRY Soda a try?  Well, if you are near any of our retail locations, we invite you to stop by on August 30th when we will be hosting a local designer(s) whose work incorporates the use of pattern – think textiles, wallpaper, products and more! DRY Soda has generously co-sponsored these events and you are all invited to join in on the fun (more details here).


Tags: , ,

An Artists Perch

This charming Artists home in Seattle is relaxed and efficiently designed. There are two buildings on the property, one a primary residence, and the second a smaller guest cottage. Both outfitted with a wonderful design sensibility, utilizing found objects with an industrial feel, and creative use of space. The kitchen sink above in the main house was salvaged and provides a large deep vessel for cooking and prep’ing vegetables from the garden on site. The sleeping loft below in the cottage is well lit and comfortable. It allows for a spacious living area below, with direct access to the garden. I love the spirit of place. The down to earth quality speaks to the sensibilities of the Pacific Northwest, and its simple, uncluttered design allows it to live larger than its modest footprint. A welcoming retreat.

Sourced at Boutique Homes.

Tags: , , , ,