Sam Trimble Design Winner: Will Chingby
Sheila Kim-Jamet -- Interior Design, 5/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
A refrigerated frosty-white display case resembling a crepe cake is the centerpiece of Sam Trimble Design's interior for the Lady M Cake Boutique, a 600-square-foot café in New York. The 24-foot-long case is fronted with a quartz agglomerate and inlaid with onyx strips, all resting on 2-inch-diameter steel legs—through which run its power lines. The table legs and the entrance door's stainless-steel handle are the lone weighty elements amid cream-painted walls and a limestone floor. Sam Trimble tells us how his namesake firm whipped up this treat.
What's your recipe for design?
ST: When you see the client's cakes, you're struck by the rich colors and textures. The display table references a jewelry-shop experience. It also represents the layers of the Mille Crêpes stack, a signature dessert. We depicted this by alternating layers of white quartz with cream onyx.
Why express the concept in a display table rather than another element in the space?
ST: The owner had the idea to put her cakes on a long table. So this idea highlighted the cakes by putting them on a pedestal of sorts.
What went into creating it?
ST: It's an elaborate showcase with fans, refrigeration coils, running hot and cold water, drainage, and lighting.
How do you conceal all the inner workings?
ST: The legs are conduits for all of these utilities. There are holes in the floor below them, so that all of the pipes can run right into the cellar and connect to the building's systems. That clean space below the display represents hard work by fabricators to hide its mechanisms.
What risks did you take?
ST: Apart from the table, I had never designed such a simplified entry door. It had to be uncluttered. So in addition to the very thin stainless-steel border of the front glazing, I specified an electro-mechanical lock in the head of the doorframe—no deadbolt.
For such a small detail, was there a lot of labor involved?
ST: The milled stainless-steel entry-door handle was a technical feat. My brother Brent, an industrial designer, made a detailed 3-D computer model of the handle design. It's the only element "floating" in the glass façade's expanse.