The 2004 Solutia Doc Competition recognizes outstanding achievement in contract projects that integrate color space, form, function and materials.



From big band to bigger design, these four award-winning firms show why they are a step ahead of the rest.

The winners of the 2004 Solutia Doc Competition, which recognizes outstanding achievement in contract projects that integrate color space, form, function and materials, were announced in December. All Projects judged incorporated carpet using Solutia Ultron® nylon 6,6 fiber.

Don Dethlefs and the design team at Sink Combs Dethlefs in Denver picked up an award for transforming an old building, which once housed a big-band music venue, into their new office.

The 75-year-old Lincoln Street building, with its exposed steel structure, open floor plan and soaring wood barrel vault, gave Dethlefs, president; Christopher Kastelic, principal; and Meg Jonsen, designer, infinite design opportunities. The finished product was a
warm and welcoming environment that maintained the modern feel of the firm's work while also preserving the original character of the building.

The designers were able to create definition and spatial boundaries and make warm and cozy an otherwise expansive space by incorporating curvilinear forms and employing the creative use of carpet. The richness of the colors not only blended well with the other natural materials in the space, but also created a dynamic mix of shape and color for a unique flooring expression.

The color schemes included browns, grays, greens and creams with accents of light blue complementing finish materials of natural maple, walnut copper and limestone. The forms created in the carpet were mirrored in the elliptical tables, lighting and other furniture groupings, and the overall design was both up-to-date and historically preserved at the same time.

Four designers at DMJM Rottet in Los Angeles were recognized for their design of QAD Inc.'s hillside, ocean-view headquarters in Summerland, Calif. A leading provider of enterprise solutions for global manufacturers, QAD's new headquarters design decidedly reflected the company's growth, and included a fitness center, recreation rooms, an indoor/outdoor cafeteria, and a 35,000-sq.-ft. Dealer Briefing Center complete with an 80-person, multi-tiered auditorium and concierge business center.

Lauren Rottet, principal; Richard Riveire, principal; Naomi Asai, associate principal and senior designer; and Kai Broms, senior associate and project manager designed a two-story structure attuned to its environment with deep overhangs, open terraces with sliding windows, and cliff-front views. The cost-effective design—defined by the use of drywall partitions with dropped soffits, tapered walls and intersecting planes—greatly
incorporated landscape views, and brought an overall sense of the outdoors to the workplace.

A prevailing element in the design was the integration of natural light, coming from the many windows on the perimeter wall, as well as a generally open feel. The open office environment included reused, reupholstered furniture, inner core private offices and an exterior perimeter circulation pattern for a clear definition of the working area.
A subtle color palette was utilized, and the range of carpets used helped define the various
public and private parts of the workspace while still creating harmony and balance.

David Robinson Design in San Diego earned an award for their redesign of beachfront restaurant The Poseidon. After 40 years as a popular eatery, the owner was ready for an innovative design concept. The primary objective was to bring the outside in and capture the beachfront ambiance of the patio dining area.

David Robinson, principal, and designers Dan Schroebel and Cynthia Brown captured this concept by creating a roll-up sectional glass wall extending the full length of the patio that disappears into the ceiling, allowing both inside and outside to seamlessly blend together while also embracing the casual atmosphere of the established restaurant.

A new bar "in the round" was designed to extend outside to offer bar service on the patio. Inside, a soaring wood wave ceiling and innovative lighting helped to transform the interior into a soothing dining experience.

The stacked stone walls and beach pebble flooring lead the eye to the transparent mural on floating glass panels, which is invisible by day but illuminated by night, displaying the dramatic ocean view. The use of "Pawtucket Falls" by Bentley Prince Street carpet, with its appearance of fallen leaves in moving water, rounded the project off, helping to capture the on-the-beach feel of the patio dining experience indoors as well.

Daniel Huntsman and the design team at Huntsman Architectural Group in San Francisco were honored for the design of Redwood Trust's headquarters in Mill Valley, Calif. When the company relocated its offices to a former technology tenant's space, it was seeking a design that would take advantage of the expansive height and great landscape views, and create an open-communication atmosphere.

Designers Daniel Huntsman, principal; Mark Harbick, lead designer; and designers Alison Smith, Elizabeth Humphrey, Myrna Mendoza and Erich Mele were able to exact Redwood Trust's vision by implementing open workstations and glass-framed conference rooms opening onto the floor with revolving doors. The main conference room was designed with an adjacent lounge for visiting clients to feel more at home. The designers utilized the stunning views of the hillside when they developed a café-style dining area with an outdoor terrace and indoor bar.

Color was key in the design. The open area was painted a bold orange color, contrasted with pale turquoise for the non-work-related areas. For the carpet, both bold, playful colors and more subtle hues were used in keeping with the contrast theme.

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