This renovation project reads tectonic opportunity into the nuances of a conventional retail shell, with dramatic spatial effect.

The design adapts a long-vacant restaurant to the needs of a growing realty company. Exterior interventions focus to the south, where the new tenants announce themselves with a dramatic 90’x20’ screen wall façade. Strategic sitework enhances the entry sequence while selective demolition improves interior daylighting and interfaces the existing shell with its porous new addition. A generous offset between the existing building and the new screen wall assembly leaves room for a glazed vestibule and a fabric-shaded patio to nestle in the interstice.

The screen is constructed of multiple layers. Vertical cruciform steel columns, tied back to the existing building, support diamond-latticed steel straps that lace together stained 1x1 horizontal wood cribbing. The lattice telegraphs the patterned coursing of the original shell’s masonry walls. A continuous horizontal opening in the cribbing frames patio views and highlights the wood’s steel support structure.