Our Favorite Things Vol. 20

As the New Year approaches, Our Favorite Things Vol. 20 is having a rubberneck moment. Normally we look outward at what the world has to offer in cool architectural products, materials, and smartly designed projects.

But what about us?!! Over here!!! We have something to show you:

Five reasons why people light up when they walk into our Studio for the first time.

Hang with us for a moment, we’re going to gawk at our own design. The truth is, this building is old but it has character that speaks to people, and says something about who we are as an architecture firm. We think lasting character is more important than being new, or trendy, or having the latest gadgets. Here’s what makes this office a place that we and others love coming to:

Celebration of “the bones”

Barrett Studio Favorite Things Vol. 20 - The Bones

In the world of architecture, we call it the bones of the structure. Instead of hiding it, we celebrate it. Gracing our ceiling are structural steel beams, air ductwork, and the funky iron things are open web joists. What you can’t see from this angle is the exposed electrical wiring in galvanized steel conduit or the 4″ diameter roof drains, but they are in the mix too. The cable lighting fits right in, doesn’t it?

Come a little closer

Barrett Studio Favorite Things Vol. 20 - Lobby Artboards

Our lobby art boards were made with tiny press-on letters. Remember those? We still have the leftover packages of Letraset in a drawer. Actual photos were fixed with glue and are now sweetly curling up at the edges.

Everyone walks up to these boards when they come in. Not surprising: in order to read the message in miniature type, you have to stand close. David says the intent was to draw people in and whisper a message. When you get close, you can see the pencil lines drawn to lay down those individual letters. You see the paper texture of the black mat board. You pause, noticing the photo details. You are that much closer to the project on display.

Background for the Stars

Barrett Studio Favorite Things Vol. 20 - Mural Wall

If we made a dollar for every photo taken of the exterior of our building, we’d be millionaires. Our two exterior walls shown above are very popular photo backgrounds for musicians, people dressed real nice, artsy students, groups of teenagers, on and on. Even the professional photographer we hired to do our website photos said she had recently used our mural wall as a background for a photo shoot. It’s pretty amusing when you suddenly hear drumming outside your window…oh yeah, another photo shoot has begun!


Barrett Studio Favorite Things Vol. 20 - Model-icious

Whether Lego or cardboard, models are a major part of the visual landscape here. Recently we needed to make space for new projects, so we gave away four old models for free on Craigslist, thinking they would at least be play toys for some children. Much to our joy, one of the young recipients was deeply interested in design and saw the models as amazing, beautiful pieces. He was excited to explore each model and see how it tied in with the finished project. His mother wrote us to say that we made her son’s day, and hers. We love it when that happens.

Hello Computer, Can I Lend You a Hand?

Barrett Studio Favorite Things Vol. 20 - Hand Computer

Oh, the treasure of different generations! Here David lays a piece of tracing paper onto the computer monitor to work out a detail on the computer model. That is the quintessential essence of this Studio.

Thanks for playing along. Next time in Our Favorite Things, we’ll face forward to the unique and wonderful things the world has to offer!