Threshold

For the Werkstatt project, we knew that we had to create a facade that was dynamic yet understated.  The original building once had a vehicular entrance off 6th Ave NW that entered a small vestibule.  Much later, that overhead door was removed and a very simple storefront entry system with sidelites was installed.  At that same time the former entry door and recessed vestibule was removed and filled in with glass block and brick to match the facade. 

Now with Werkstatt removing the entry door system, there would be no other entry into the business from the sidewalk; not very urban design friendly.  The solution became an exercise in "partii."  I know it sounds weird, but a partii is like a theme.  It is a design construct that is used to make decisions.  In this case, coming up with a partii for the threshold would then allow both new openings (vehicular overhead door and entry door) to be treated in a similar manner.  

The partii in this case involved using the cut edge of the brick to create a very clean edge for the sides and top of the opening (referred to as the Jamb and the Head in construction terminology).  To accomplish this, we designed a detail using a 1/4" steel plate that wraps the three sides and protrudes just past the facade to create a knife edge shadow line.  This also allowed the cut edge of the brick (which didn't end up perfectly straight) to be hidden.  

Now that the threshold steel is in place, it accentuates the thickness of the facade by creating a deep casing to cover up the wall construction.  Once all of the welds and anchors are ground smooth, the entire steel piece will be painted a dark color to compliment the brick and to contrast with the anodized aluminum finish of the doors.  The partii continues to the entry door which is recessed to accommodate a sloped transition and will be clad in the same product which is being installed in the vehicle vestibule.