Architect: Kahler Slater
Contractor: Riley Construction
Snap-on Incorporated is the global leader in high-performance tools and solutions for a diverse range of critical challenges. Founded in 1920 in Kenosha, WI, the company manufactured and marketed ten sockets that would "snap on" to five interchangeable handles, a concept that revolutionized the tool industry. As they closed in on 100 years of business, Snap-on wished to celebrate its rich history with the associates and customers that created its organization. Their existing 2,528 sf museum space was overpopulated by artifacts and ineffectively represented the Snap-on history. A new space needed to be designed in a way that best reflected the Snap-on brand, what they have accomplished and the global impact they have made.
The main project objective was to take the existing artifacts and create an environment where architecture and exhibits are seamlessly integrated, giving the visitor a memorable impression of the Snap-on brand and its lasting legacy. The design of the museum was intentionally minimal and straightforward, allowing visitors to take a guided tour or peruse the content on their own. The aesthetic evokes the high-tolerance and high-precision methodology of the company – minimalism and a limited color palette emphasize Snap-on’s primary red brand color.
The overall project is comprised of 4,261 sf of remodeled space, encompassing an expanded lobby, expanded museum and support program: curator’s office, kitchen, servery and storage. The museum is divided into three experience zones: the arrival zone, main museum hall and flex exhibit/dining area. There are over 500 artifacts that depict people and events from its 100-year history.
Upon entry, dark zinc metal cladding transitions from the exterior to the interior, with a large sweeping curve terminating into the existing commons space. A neighboring iconic red feature wall takes shape, embossed with the company's founding year. The entry orientation allows a more private entry experience and faces Snap-on’s innovation workshop area. Custom metal grate soffit panels, monolithically backlit, highlight the entry and blackened diamond plate steel flooring frames the entry, leading you into the museum's arrival zone space.
A low curved ceiling supporting a suspended video wall displaying Snap-on's iconic logo sets the tone of the arrival zone. Automated media and lighting, interchangeable client-focused graphics and the first original Snap-on tools are displayed as the revolutionary "five do the work of fifty" story is shared. The story continues with a 150-foot internally illuminated timeline wall, featuring custom recessed casework with metallic peg-board panels that provide changeability of artifacts and displays while evoking a "shop" feel.
Located in the center of the space is the main museum hall divided up by three seamless LED square pendant fixtures. Each square defines a specific exhibit theme: diagnostic, tool storage, delivery and sales exhibit areas. Large dark acoustical ceiling panels are suspended above the lights, extending the entire length of the hall to define the space and provide acoustical attenuation. The hall continues with an iconic red wall extending from the embossed entry feature. A custom rail system is built into this wall for flexibility of additional storylines. The multi-functioning rails allow graphics to be inserted, magnetic graphics to adhere to the face, and heavy 3D elements to lock into this system.
At the end of this space is the flex exhibit/dining area, a dual-purpose space that functions as exhibit and a unique dining experience. Snap-on fabricated custom mobile tool boxes provide storage and display surface for museum artifacts. Hidden away is a kitchen and servery area to support the dining experience in the museum. A large pivot wall allows food service staff to access the museum space during the dining experience. A long line of custom casework, skinned in painted high-gloss steel to resemble a mobile tool box, is provided in the servery area to support the food service staff or create a buffet setting.
The Snap-on museum is a world-class space with many unique features that make it unlike any other corporate museum. The story of Snap-on is clearly showcased and the history of the brand is elevated so that anyone who walks into the space comes away with a deep understanding of the company. This story, combined with a dramatic and elegant design, creates a memorable experience for visitors.
Photos: Peter McCullough
Architect: Groth Design Group, Inc.
Owner: Christ Presbyterian Church
Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
The existing church had served the congregation well for many years. Changing perspectives however, regarding worship experiences and the manner in which the congregation interacted with the community demanded changes in space use and in the presentation of the facility to the public. The Church Visioning Team determined the following priorities as a basis for renovation:
-Welcoming Entry and Gathering Space
-Provision for Traditional and Contemporary Worship Programs
-Spaces for Community Services
-Space for Children, Youth and Families
-Creation of Spaces for Spiritual Growth
-MEP Upgrades to Current Facilities
-Investment in Mission Partners
Given conditions and renovation priorities, the project would also need to include consideration for parking areas, site storm water management, lighting, and the inclusion of artwork.
Located on a finite urban site, there was little space for consideration of additions or major changes in the overall configuration of the facility. Any modifications to satisfy need and responsiveness to the creation of a more welcoming architectural presence had to be accomplished within the context of the general physical limits of the existing facility.
The design solution incorporated a much more open worship environment allowing for greater flexibility in the way in which functions in the worship space are organized. The same can be said for the other priority functions in that while there were existing physical limitations to change, available space was viewed not from the standpoint of limitations, but of possibilities.
Clearly the most striking element of design change is the primary entry plaza. Formerly little more thansidewalk and front door, this open outdoor space is now much more defined not simply as an entry, but as a proclamation of the mission and purpose of the church; moreover, the design of architectural elements defining the plaza integrate the seriousness of the faith expression, but in a way that is open, welcoming and playful.
The project includes 4,600 SF of new construction and 32,650 SF of renovated space.
This project proclaims all that is important to the congregation, but in a way that allows for those who are not members to consider the merit of the CPC community to their lives in a welcoming and non-threatening manner. The solution, particularly in the entry plaza, is the essence of an effective forum that respects and welcomes all. It is also important to emphasize that the renewed facility now offers far greater flexibility for changing program needs.
Photos: Mark Heffron