Steel Veil is fabricated from 3/16-inch stainless steel panels laser cut to fit in an inter-locking pattern. Each panel is mounted to a steel frame anchored at the stair tower and floor.
The final design yields an energized zone that one walks through while journeying along the stair.
KEY: Computational Design, Material Performance, Craft, CNC Fabrication, Parametric
Bar, Cafe &I Kitchen Design - Built 2017
Steel Veil Fabrication - Unbuilt
Structure - Un-reinforced brick with wooden trusses
Project Size: 5000sf
Materials: 1/8" Laser-cut Stainless Steel
a r c h i t e c t u r e
SPIRITS, SOUL, EXPRESSION
We agreed to design a cafe and bar with the provision that a casual setting needed a visual anchor, blink!LAB treated the staircase as a stage set. After all, Oakland was studded with waterholes glowing with Edison light bulbs. We wished a something more sophisticated and direct. Shrouded by a thin veil, patrons become the actors in the nightly play of an Oakland bar and restaurant.
Functionally, the building is a 100-year old un-reinforced brick structure with wooden roof trusses. Seismic bracing at the front and additional stiffening of the Roof assembly allowed use of the entire roof as a public bar. The basement was partially upgraded to accommodate auxiliary storage and food preparation.
A bar is about being seen. So we approach the program by imagining scenarios of activities. This allowed us to increase seating capacity and give the Bar a sense of direction.
At 13 feet by 13 feet, the veil is nestled in the arms of the winding stair leading to the Rooftop Bar. The design strategy began with a preoccupation with walls as an architectural tool for public display, and the idea of privacy in a public space.
In an effort to explore this public/private dynamic voyeurism, we began looking at the effects of moire' patterning and lighting.
In order to achieve a compelling moire' pattern, it became clear that veil's momenta of solids areas versus voids would be defined by examination of intensity - too solid and the result is a wall, too porous and the steel plate become superfluous. This notion of dynamic visual flow between solid and void led to a sinuous steel tapestry.