Maximizing The Assets
Ron Nyren -- Interior Design, 11/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
When a flourishing financial management company in San Francisco needed bigger quarters, executives settled on two high floors of the landmark Bank of America tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. A fantastic choice—with one hitch, the upper floor's soaring 12-foot ceiling. A plus in the other circumstances, the generous height was actually a liability for a group of investment managers, who need acoustic privacy. "With a ceiling that high, how do you put in a lot of private offices without having them feel like narrow shafts?" asked principal Ronette King, a member of Interior Design's Hall of Fame. "At the same time, how do you take advantage of the most beautiful views in San Francisco?"
Her answer: strategic glazing and a grid motif rendered in anigre. She used the wood for the frames and muntins of glass partitions that enclose perimeter offices and break up horizontal expanses—while letting people see each other as they pass through the halls. To rein in the vertical proportions, she combined pendant fixtures, sculptural ceiling forms, and, in the long, continuous corridor, an MDF "eyebrow" at the 9-foot level.
Attention to detail and materials comes through everywhere. In reception's lounge area, indirect lighting and creamy white paint establish a residential backdrop for cotton- and linen-covered seating. And the reception desk's milled MDF panel subtly recalls Asia. Face the Pacific, and you can see almost that far.
Opposite: Anigre bookcases line a multipurpose room.
Clockwise from top left: A milled MDF panel fronts the custom reception desk. Custom pendant fixtures of silk-wrapped acrylic hang in perimeter offices and conference rooms. An anigre-framed glass partition lets light into a secretarial station. In the CIO's office, granite tops a bamboo table.
Clockwise from top right: A staircase with granite treads rises past a walnut-paneled focal wall, which complements the stained-eucalyptus floor. In reception, chairs upholstered in cotton and linen gather round a table topped in Emperador marble. A corridor's MDF "eyebrow," at the 9-foot level, conceals indirect lighting. In the "policy room," leather-covered chairs surround a table with a top of steamed beech. Over administrative workstations, a polyester ceiling system reflects up-lighting from custom pendant fixtures in painted aluminum.
PROJECT TEAM: YOKO ISHIHARA; ALEX JEFFERIES; LAURIE PETIPAS; KEVIN SAWYERS; STEVE SUZUKI. TABLE (MULTIPURPOSE ROOM): KNOLL. CHAIR FABRIC: UNIKA VAEV. CHAIRS (MULTIPURPOSE ROOM, RECEPTION, POLICY ROOM, ADMINISTRATIVE AREA): KEILHAUER. DESK PANEL (RECEPTION): INTERLAM. WALL COVERING (RECEPTION), BANQUETTE BACK FABRIC (POLICY ROOM): LARSEN. CHAIR UPHOLSTERY (RECEPTION, POLICY ROOM, ADMINISTRATIVE AREA): SPINNEYBECK. CUSTOM PENDANT FIXTURES (CONFERENCE ROOMS, CIOS OFFICE, ADMINISTRATIVE AREA): COOPER INDUSTRIES; LUMICOR (PANELS). SOFA, LOUNGE CHAIR (CIOS OFFICE): ARTELANO; COWTAN TOUT (FABRIC). TABLE: MCGUIRE. LOUNGE CHAIRS (RECEPTION): BAKER. CHAIR FABRIC: DONGHIA (SEAT, FRAME); CLARENCE HOUSE (BACK). LAMP: MICHAEL BERMAN. CUSTOM CEILING SYSTEM (CORRIDOR, ADMINISTRATIVE AREA): OWENS CORNING. CUSTOM BANQUETTE (POLICY ROOM): KROLL FURNITURE. BANQUETTE SEAT FABRIC: DESIGNTEX. MILLWORK: DESIGN WORKSHOPS. LIGHTING CONSULTANT: JS NOLAN + ASSOCIATES LIGHTING DESIGN. STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: GFDS ENGINEERS. MEP: FLACK + KURTZ. GENERAL CONTRACTOR: DPR CONSTRUCTION.