Kiley Feickert's second year studio work was shortlisted for the 2010 Second Year Award.
The determination of the quality of chocolate “took a paradigm shift from physical to sensory.”
John Kehoe [TCHO chocolate]
How can a “shift” be applied to a multi-use building in order to encourage a sensuous experience and create a better quality architecture. In many under-developed cocoa producing countries, such and the Ivory Coast and Ghana, cocoa farmers determine the quality of the cocoa bean using a limited number of senses, mainly having to do with the beans appearance. However, when one hears the term “chocolate” the first sense that comes to mind is taste. This disconnect in the production process has begun to be bridged in certain instances. With the encouragement and resources from those like John Kehoe, flavor labs have been introduced in these under-developed countries in order to educate the cocoa farmers regarding techniques that better the quality of their product. Cocoa beans are now beginning to be judged not only on appearance, but on the taste of the chocolate that comes from these beans as well. This process has become more sensory than physical, yielding a higher quality product. If this shift can be interpreted in the architecture of a multiuse building that includes residential spaces, office and reception spaces, and a small-scale chocolate factory, a more sensory experience will result.
In San Francisco’s Soma District, this idea of shift is employed on an infill project in order to encourage interaction between different uses of the building and to lead in a community effort to transform the neighborhood. This shift not only affects the interior interaction and spatial qualities of the building, but also becomes an interpretation of the typical San Francisco bay. Upon approach from 8th or 9th streets, respectively, a different visual perspective is presented to individuals in order to draw them toward the structure.
The geometry of the shift is derived from the bay of the building to the north and the five foot setback from the building to the south. This geometry creates a shifted floorplate that begins to pull away from the building to the north and causes the floorplate to push in from the building envelope along the south face. This push in creates a void within the envelope which provides space for a stair to rise two stories, and allows light to filter into the lower levels of the building. Providing interaction between multiple floors, the continuous stair also encourages the use of multiple senses while moving throughout the structure. When circulating, the sight of production becomes present along with the aroma and sounds that come with production. This increased interaction creates an experience not similar to most buildings in San Francisco.
Shift also applies to the cladding located on the exterior, and read from the interior of the building. The floorplates that protrude past the property line to the west (street side), create a shift in the predominantly glass skin, and become more expressive through the use of horizontal copper panels. The copper panels follow the subtle angle along the protrusion of floors 2-4 and are drawn into the space along the void behind the glass exterior. This overlap of material creates a concavity that articulates the main entrance on the ground level. Although the footprint is a mere 20x80’, a void that transcends three floors and a stair rising through this void creates a spatial experience that encourages users to interact with multiple levels, while stimulating the senses of its occupants.