a collective of spaces for creative types of all realms. Today it houses ceramicists, tattoo artists, violin repairmen, fellow architects and more, with theater and event spaces, a roof deck bar and other amenities. Kaminski + Pew had worked on a small coffee shop inside for those maker tenants, called Two Persons Coffee. The small but mighty shop sits within the 300-sq.-ft. footprint of the building’s former tool room and quickly developed into a destination for not just tenants, but also neighbors as the building is in a heavily residential part of the city. Next in the lineup of improbable revivals was the building’s old mechanical room—which Scout decided to carve out for themselves.
Their motivation was two-fold: not only would choosing this space reinforce their mission as a company but it also allowed them to maximize investment in the building elsewhere by choosing a less-desirable, yet sizable spot at approximately 1800 square feet. But packed with electrical gear and ducts large enough to drive a car through that had previously served all the auditoriums and gymnasiums sitting unused within it, the pair found it tough to maneuver around to even measure.
Nevertheless, they got in and rolled up their sleeves in order to meet Scout’s substantial programming list that included a variety of spaces from private to conference and breakout while still having an open feel that pulled in natural daylight.
“Their motto is don’t overdo it, don’t over engineer and use what you have to your advantage,” Kaminski explained. So a very raw, honest material palette was maintained, with much of the existing clay tile preserved, as were the floors and walls by using a clear coat of paint to stabilize them. One of the ducts was turned into a conference table and another serves as the backdrop for the reception desk.