Designed in 10 different curved patterns and rising 20 feet high, a total of 34 fins wrap around the front of the garage and building for a striking and visible entrance. The design intention is to creative a sinuous wave-like form as an architectural wayfinding feature to direct people towards the entrance, as well as create a strong curb appeal:
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Oceanic Concept Features Unique Custom Architectural Fin Design
Leading Stamford-based interior design firm MKDA today announced the completion of a multi-million-dollar renovation of 2187 Atlantic Avenue in Stamford’s Harbor Point on behalf of alternative asset management firm Black Diamond Capital Management.
Renovations of the 106,000-SF boutique office building, formerly Clearwater House, include dramatic exterior upgrades consisting of a new entrance with an approach from the street that includes an architecturally unique fin system and modern landscaping. Interior upgrades consist of a new lobby, elevators, bathrooms and common areas.
MKDA borrowed from the property’s waterfront position, its blue-tinted, mirrored-glass façade, and the building’s wave-like curved edges to devise an interior and exterior oceanic design concept with architectural fins, soft undulating edges and a bright color palette with blue accents.
“We rebranded the 1985 asset with a modern tone that builds upon the building’s attributes and aligns the property with its vibrant Harbor Point waterfront location,” said MKDA Executive Managing Director Julia Lindh, RA. “The oceanic fin concept was devised as a means to create curb appeal from the main road, and to redirect attention from the prominent parking garage to the building’s entrance and interior.”
MKDA painted the parking garage dark grey and, eschewing the typical screen treatment, added wave-like architectural fins with integrated LED lights to the foreground. Designed in 10 different curved patterns and rising 20 feet high, the 34 fins wrap around the front of the garage and building for a striking and visible entrance.
“The purpose of the sinuous wave-like fin design was to use an architectural wayfinding feature that would visually direct people toward the entrance,” said MKDA Creative Director Lisa Bauerle, who noted that the fins were designed by MKDA and fabricated and installed by Eventscape. “The fins and modern landscaping also go a long way toward creating strong curb appeal.”
With the attention now on the entrance, the design team modernized the formerly dark and dated entrance with an enclosed dual-height glass vestibule, glass revolving doors and a glass and metal canopy. White stone and uplights replaced the black stone that had previously flanked the entrance and created a beautiful frame highlighting the interior lobby and carrying attention inward.
The fin theme was carried into the dual-height lobby with 20 undulating acrylic fins with integrated lights suspended from the ceiling. The effect not only unifies the exterior and interior but also adds dimension and bright light to the dramatic lobby. The design team added light-tone wood, blue glass wall panels and terrazzo flooring, an update to the former wooden crown molding and columns, dark floors and brass light fixtures.
MKDA also designed a new Grab & Go food counter, common area finishes and bathrooms.
Wave-like, edge-lit exterior fins flank the building’s entrance, which is near the ocean. With striking LED fixtures that replace street lights, and ten different curved patterns, this is a striking entryway emphasized by the positioning of 34, 20-foot tall steel fins with integrated lighting that creates a sinuous wave of light.
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Inside, there are 60 undulating, frosted acrylic fins that also have integrated lighting. Suspended from the main lobby’s ceiling, they carry through the space. The combination of outdoor and indoor fins with repeated wave patterns produces a unified tranquility. Both custom architectural features were engineered, fabricated and installed by Eventscape’s experts.
HOW DID EVENTSCAPE WORK WITH MKDA INITIALLY?
Eventscape built a full-sized prototype for the architects to confirm the LED lighting and verify finish details prior to full production. Functioning as street lights, MKDA chose the brightest LEDs with a warm color that could be dimmed.
For the interior fins, Eventscape provided glass and acrylic options for review during the initial development phase. Using several mockups, Eventscape and MKDA discovered the optimum finish for the acrylic and verified the LED light placement.
WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES?
The sheer size and weight of each fin was the most challenging aspect of the project. Weighing a total of 1800 lbs., moving and handing each section in the metal fabrication shop and powder coating facility was handled with custom “cradles.”
Installation of the fins was done sequentially and scheduled as the site became ready. Eventscape used a crane to lift the fins from custom wood cradles (used for shipping) onto the concrete grade beam provided by the General Contractor. When each fin was secured and plumb, the electrical was checked and the final light with diffuser lens was inserted in the custom welded u-channel.
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