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A Case Study in Design by Layers

As designers, we at K4 go through extensive planning to get to the end result of a fully functional and beautiful space.  Not many people see the background work, but in order to get to there, it requires multiple design steps that I like to refer to as layering.  Many people bring on architects and designers for layers 1 and 2, but people sometimes miss out on the extra coordination for layers 3, 4 and 5. Follow below on the progression pictures of the Forcht Bank in Covington, KY to see the progress as we layered the design to achieve the final finished product.

Layer 1 – Architectural Design and Construction

Author's own project photos

Author’s own project photos

This 1,200 SF former Greyhound bus station location was laid out for Forcht Bank to fit the program of (3) offices, (1) vestibule with an ITM and a large open area. The customer envisioned this open space to provide a comfortable customer waiting area that can double as a space for small events. Working within existing conditions is always a task for every job.

Layer 2 – Interior Finishes

Author's own project photos

Author’s own project photos

The layout of the space was very open and contemporary, but we balanced this by preserving and refinishing the original tin ceiling. We also brought in the wood flooring to accent the overall historical feel of the building. The wood beams were the functional support of the lighting in efforts to reduce puncturing the tin ceiling, but at the same time the beams were designed to compliment the space.

Layer 3 – Casework

Author's own project photos

Author’s own project photos

Casework is not only a necessity for storage and function, but can aesthetically bring dimension into the space. Casework truly creates a design opportunity to give the space an extra layer of detailing. At Forcht Bank, they needed both the function of layout countertop space, a sink and a refrigerator. With this function, we took this to the next level by bringing in the extra detailing of the glass mullion doors complete with lighting and the wood crown extending the length of the brick wall for the extra dimension.

Layers 4 & 5 (End Result) – Furniture & Graphics

Author's own project photos

Author’s own project photos

To create a fluent space, the furniture, casework and graphics should compliment the architecture and design. At Forcht Bank, we did this through the fabrics on the furniture, to the graphic history wall, to the bar top finish, to the selection of seating furniture, to the mission statement wall and the glass vinyl design. Every step of the way was orchestrated to bring the vision to reality. The casework, furniture and graphics work in harmony to create the icing on the cake which makes it so beautiful and yet so delicious. The highly anticipated end result is always a happy moment to finally sit back, relax and enjoy.