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2010 AIA Small Project Awards - Small Project Structures - Salve Staff Canteen; Milwaukee Johnsen Schmaling Architects Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 08:05

Salve Staff Canteen; Milwaukee

Johnsen Schmaling Architects


Salve-Staff-Canteen-7This small canteen serves the cooks, janitors, and maids of an ornate downtown hotel built in 1893. Located deep inside the building’s subterranean belly and without access to daylight, the canteen was carved out of a cluttered maze of residual spaces previously occupied by closets, obsolete mechanical equipment, and a make-shift break room.
Salve-Staff-Canteen-3Invisible to the well-endowed hotel guests above, this modest back-of-the-house project demonstrates architecture’s transformative power, regardless of scope or budget limitations, benefitting a community of workers at the bottom of the economic food chain. A simple perimeter ribbon weaves around massive columns and conceals the basement’s ubiquitous mechanical and structural clutter, tying together the fragmented spaces and transforming them into a quiet dining room with a long “harvest table” at its center.
Salve-Staff-Canteen-4Salve-Staff-Canteen-5Throughout the space, carefully positioned “history apertures” – deep acrylic-sheathed display cases – penetrate the perimeter to peel away and expose hidden layers of the hotel’s past. Masonry foundations, pipes, furring strips, paint spills and water stains from previous leaks: laid bare and subtly illuminated, these historic traces become artifacts, framing an eloquent narrative of the building’s structural and aesthetic DNA. The apertures become windows into the past, their warm light softly washing the space. 
Salve-Staff-Canteen-6Salve_01Construction Cost in whole dollars  $60,000



Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2011 14:38
 
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