Students take a challenge in updating an old building using scrap metal and graffiti art.
Two architecture graduate students at the University of Utah have turned a class design assignment into a real work project in the nascent Granary District of Salt Lake City.
Robert Tranter and Jeff Baird took the assignment by Professor Mimi Locher in the School of Architecture at the University of Utah: find a business in the 900 S. 900 W. district of SLC, and offer to design and build a new façade with help from the school and the city in hopes of revitalizing the area.
They found a willing participant, Steve Andrus, of Andrus Sales and Service.
Andrus Sales and Service specializes in buying and selling new and used commercial restaurant appliances. With a yard filled with discarded stainless steel appliances
it was decided that the large panels could be stripped from these recycled appliances to become the cladding over the existing brick veneer.
The panels tell a story in a creative way. Many restaurant owners in the valley who do business with Steve Andrus will recognize where many of the panels on the facade came from and this will hopefully create a visual connection to future buyers.
The neighborhood had long embraced the talents of graffiti artists and their abilities to tell stories through murals, with many spots throughout the neighborhood where this talent is encouraged and enjoyed. Robert and Jeff felt it important to incorporate the graffiti not only as a visual style, but also as part of the history and story of the neighborhood.
The final element to be incorporated was the original brick façade of Andrus Sales and Service.
By giving equal weight to the stainless steel cladding, graffiti mural and existing brick a connection is made between the pedestrian, the community and the history of a neighborhood. The relationship Andrus Sales and Service have with the community has been strengthened, while keeping the history of the neighborhood alive and vibrant.
Photos by Robert Tranter; drawing by Tranter and Jeffrey Baird.