- Contractor:Cody Brock Construction
- Consultants:MCE Structural Consultants (structural engineering); Kb Architectural Services (gizmo engineering); Turner Exhibits (gizmo interior fabrication); Argent Fabrication (gizmo interior fabrication); Spencer Finch (Back to Kansas, a temporary installation for SFMOMA); Jeremy Kramp (custom operable window engineering and fabrication)
- Design Principal:Tom Kundig, FAIA
- Project Manager/Project Architect:Michael Picard, AIA LEED AP
- Gizmo Designer:Phil Turner
- City:Los Altos
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. Located in downtown Los Altos, the highlight of this 2,500 square foot adaptive re-use project is the introduction of a new façade that enables the circa 1950’s building to morph from an enclosed structure into an environment that invites the community into the space.
The transformation was achieved by essentially replacing the entire front façade with a double-height, floor-to-ceiling window wall that can be raised or lowered depending upon the needs of the user.
The window wall is operated by engaging a pedal—to unlock the safety mechanism— then turning a hand wheel which activates a series of gears and pulleys that opens the sixteen-foot by ten-foot, counterweighted two-thousand pound window wall. When the window wall is closed, visitors to the shop enter through a ten-foot-tall pivot door.
In addition to the front façade, other changes to the building included raising the roof by half-of-one story to create a better proportioned interior volume, and installing skylights to bring in more natural light. The building most recently served as one of the temporary off-site locations for SF MoMA’s Project Los Altos.
Beyond the introduction of the window wall, the interior was relatively untouched, leaving the space as flexible as possible for its future tenant.