Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
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Words from the architect
[WIDE]BAND - a Nomadic Cafe / Club
[WIDE]BAND is a 600-square foot, portable project with the flexibility to accommodate a multiplicity of functions (more or less the architectural equivalent of a hermit crab shell). Originally designed as an installation for NeoCon West, it has since been moved to the A + D Museum in Los Angeles where it can function as a cafe by day and as a bar/lounge space at night without altering the configuration. During an event held by the A + D Museum for the AIA National Conference in June, it was used as a venue for book signings.
The commission resulted from a competition sponsored by Interior Design magazine and NeoCon West to showcase an unusual mix of products by using unique approaches. Taking the brief one step further, we created a functional group gathering space for conference attendees to check email, sit and talk, or get a momentary respite. The name, [WIDE]BAND, alludes to the physical loop formed by the surfaces and to the broadband technology supporting the wireless Internet access provided.
The primary material, orange, 3/4" polycarbonate core panels (Pep) manufactured by 3Form, was chosen for its structural capacity to span large spaces and for its translucency, allowing the structure to be exceptionally thin and light. The panels are supported only by a skeleton of 11/2" steel; in some places extending beyond the frame. Walls, floor, and ceiling are shaped by wrapping the panels in a continuous loop, culminating in the long table that then loops back, becoming an obstacle in the center of the room directing movement around and through the semi-transparent landscape. Physically, the table bisects the space, while at the same time it becomes a nexus for engagement, promoting the interaction of users with each other as they negotiate the space.
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