Last week I completed probably the biggest assignment I’ve been given all year. It was a group project *Thank Goodness* My school had approached our interior design class to redesign the college bar: Spurs. They explained that Spurs was in need of a major redesign because they were losing money and the space wasn’t being used by the students as they hoped it would be. I was excited; here was a real design problem that I would get to work on – and hopefully solve! Long story short: the college bar was built a couple years ago to replace the old bar. It was supposed to be a fabulous new activity center for the students to enjoy and a place where they could relax, forget school, and chill out. However, their new building was a bust and the students began going other places to hang out; hence asking our class to redesign the space, giving the students the chance to get what they wanted. My friends and I quickly assembled our group and began brainstorming.
There is a lot we wanted to change about the current college bar simply because we felt that it did not reflect the school and its students very well. There are so many different programs at our school and the student activity center doesn’t reflect any of it – we were going to change that. I’m giving you the time-laps of this project because all four members on our design team put in over 100 hours of work. As a group we divided each task and worked on them together – that way we all had equal input and understanding over the scope of the project: specifications on materials and finishes, furniture, fixtures, etc. Auto CAD drawings, elevations, sections and details, 3D modeling for the interior and exterior of the structure, presentation, over a dozen perspectives of the new space. There was a lot to do, to say the least. We started at the beginning and created a list of problems with the current Spurs. From there we made a list of solutions to those problems and went to work. Interior design is a job that no one notices unless it is done wrong – then everyone notices. It was obvious that this redesign of Spurs would test us as students to see if we really could solve design problems on our own and execute them efficiently.
As a group we decided that we wanted the new Spurs should be industrial and rustic. We could include brick, mixed woods and burgundy red to enforce rustic feelings. Then we could use a variety of metals, chain and pipe, with vintage lighting to bring in the industrial feeling. Together, they would create more interest into the space. The industrial and rustic concept would balance all of the school trades and agriculture programs in the new student activity center. We found retro light bulb letters that we would use to recreate the Spurs brand.
Before we started designing what the building would look like, we sent out a school wide survey for students to fill out and contribute their ideas for the new Spurs. After we got all the survey information back and developed a design plan, we went to work. This is the finished product that my group and i came up with. Here is a look at what the new floor plan:
This is what you would see when you first walked into the building. We made the back, brick wall our focal point with the Spurs letters. The vintage glass pendants hang from the exposed ceiling above each booth. The rustic wooden floors are the same throughout the whole bar.
This is what the main lounge would look like. In this perspective, you can see the full brick wall and how the burgundy red compliments the brick. The booth seating would be raised a couple steps up for personal space.
This is a view of the main lounge as if you were sitting in one of the raised booths. The glass doors lead out onto the patio.
This is a view of the patio from the glass doors. We have a wood fence with glass inserts to increase privacy. Above is a wooden pergola with vintage, string light bulbs.
This is a view of the patio as if you were sitting at on of the tables looking into the main lounge. We put a small, brick half wall in front of the glass doors to separate the main lounge from the patio, that way you can’t see everything that’s going on.
Walking back inside: this is what the bar front would look like. We carried the brick from the wall onto the bar front and columns. The light fixture above the bar counter is made of industrial pipe with light bulbs coming directly out from it.
This is what the ain lounge would look like as if you were sitting at the back booths beside the glass patio doors.
In our student survey, almost every one stated that the pool tables were one of their favorite things about the current Spurs. So we decided to create a space dedicated to students that wanted to come in with friends, grab a drink and enjoy a good, uninterrupted pool game. We made another brick wall with matching industrial pipe lighting on the walls.
This is a view of the breezeway; the middle wall is there is separate the two rooms, but we didn’t want to completely cut them off from each other. The top half of the wall is chain link that is anchored in the half wall and carried up to the exposed ceiling. We thought this was a great way to continue the industrial feeling.
On the other side of the chain link wall would be the study lounge that students could use in the afternoon to chill and work on homework while enjoying a beer, instead of going to the library. Here we put leather couches and chairs and large tables where students could pull out their laptops and books or work on group projects together. In the evening, the furniture could be moved to make room for beer pong or other games.
A coffee bar was something that almost all of the students suggested. They wanted a convenient spot to grab coffee on the way to classes because the cafeteria is out of the way for most students. I was a major fan of this suggestion – obviously.
We suggested a different liquor license for the space; one like a restaurant. Alcohol could be served in the whole building and in the evening only students of age could be in the building. My favorite thing about this project was that it was real. There was already an existing building that my group and I had to work with. There was a real budget and we were able to put out a legitimate survey and get real feedback. It was exciting for me to work with a team to come up with real design solutions. I think, in school students can get comfortable with completing imaginary assignments; the rules are flexible and it’s ok if you can’t get an exact price on something. For this project there was little flexibility and we needed a close price estimate to include in our design presentation. My group and I spent several hours practicing. I cannot state enough that the presentation of any project is the most important and most over looked step in a project. You could have the best design; but if you can’t pitch it – no one will listen.
When my group and I shared our Spurs Remodel Design with the school – we nailed it. Credit for that can only go to God – He allowed our group to gel and function smoothly right from the beginning. It is so important that a person is not stubborn. Listening skills are one of the most needed in group projects. It was only by God’s grace that we came up with a design we all loved and presented it as smoothly as we did. I’m excited to have this assignment in the books guys. It was unreal, unexpected and unbelievable.
– Stay Satisfied