So often in the design profession, especially if you have maneuvered yourself into the category of lead designer, many (and I mean “if I had a dollar for every sketch not built I’d be a billionaire” MANY) designs you create never see the REAL light of day. You envision them through sketches and details and all kinds of architectural drawings, but for one reason or another, they don’t get built. Though here are a few of my projects “built by others” in the virtual world of 3D imaging. All of these were designed while lead design consultant in cahoots with MulvannyG2 or Callison Architecture. Go to “Architecture” for more drawings and info regarding these projects.
For an architectural designer (every once in awhile…for me every decade or so) you get a project built that makes all the other failed attempts to make something functional and beautiful tolerable. And actually it’s not even the project specifically, but the magic of “the team”. I have always said a great project can have no weak links. It’s the creation of the perfect pearl necklace. Every pearl has to be a winner. No pearl more important than the client. Projects succeed or fail, not by the designer, the architect or the builder, but for the client. They have to want it. MOZ wanted “it”. And they knew how to get “it”. Hire the team you like and trust and let the process take it’s course.
Like the natural flow of the river, they never tried to put up damns, or dikes or levies. They just let it roll with gentle and respectful guidance of their solid banks. The circuitous route to MOZ’s new HQ, was begun far before I entered the picture. Marvin Yamaguchi, a quiet and reserved and mighty talented architect had been on the job for a year or two, helping the Mozsters find a building in which they could create their new home. By the time I joined they had found that place. Marvin and team Moz had already refined the space plan. I was charged with creating the look and feel ASAP. I could not have come onto the project any later. Two weeks into my involvement we had a concept. To take their mascot Roger, the robot, as a guide. We would make a space that merged where Roger lives with where humans thrive. Astroid and planetary shapes made from earthly materials of wood and steel. Rawness against faceted forms. We had lift off.
The reception desk and cafeteria bleacher/platform were formed from human function. All shapes were derived from how bodies would engage with them yet filtered though faceted design. Never have I created a sculptural form which so successfully masks it’s reason d’être. The slant of the reception desk in elevation creates privacy on one end and ADA accessibility on the opposite. In section, it cants in on the top to allow visitor to lean against it, but cants back on the bottom to create space to prevent boot scrapes. The cafe platform is a faceted topography to create a natural stepped landscape for visibility to the stage. It then cascades down the backside creating bleachers to watch ping pong rivalries.
Moz is all I could want in a project. They treated the people and the process with great intelligence and respect. Moz business actually runs on respect and bounty instead of fear and poverty. This is THE business model, should we want to survive (even thrive) in a unknowable future. Shoot, it’s THE model for a successful LIFE!