I am excited about one of my recent projects and I wanted to share it with you in this month’s post. I enjoyed it because it combined much of what I love to do: Design, Space Planning, Project Management, and Reuse.  The project is River of Goods, a St. Paul home decor showroom and the world’s largest Tiffany Lamp wholesaler. 

The project intrigued me because the building site was selected as part of a federally-funded cleanup effort. As part of an award-winning economic development project, several organizations worked together to remediate the site, making this project possible. Digging to depths of 12 feet, chemicals and impurities were removed from the site, which is now home to the LEED compliant building.  Now this building holds beautiful Tiffany lamps – isn’t that ironic?!
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I was fortunate to be brought on early in the project during the building phase, and worked together with the owners on numerous decisions throughout the building. It was exciting to have design input for most of the public and gathering spaces, as well as to choose the color scheme for the office area, entry and the entire showroom. When I began designing the space, I wanted to convey the concept of an amazing flow of interesting products from around the world. To bring that idea to life visually we created a flowing experience throughout space. Meandering paths of stained sand colored concrete resemble a river bed, with areas of translucent blue subtle waves blended within the flooring.
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My goal was for visitors to feel like they are on a journey – giving them destinations to visit and options on where they should go in the space.  At the same time, it needed to be functional for the owners to reinvent the space often to highlight new products and create new experiences for visitors.
Throughout the gallery contemporary display islands contrast with the warm curves of the intricate antique inspired lamps and their modern cousins composed of custom stained glass. Showcased much like a museum or art gallery displays, I wanted to give each piece the attention it deserves.
A number of the custom designed and crafted white display islands are stationary, while others are movable and modular in their construction, giving the owners plenty of creative reign when updating the space with new products.
This project was indeed one of my favorites and I look forward to working on similar projects in the future!
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The meeting space is large enough to accommodate large parties and was recently used during a roundtable discussion between the EPA and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. At that point, the building was dubbed “a showcase for EPA cleanup funding”.

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