Priority Designs' space is a reflection of a forward-thinking organization, supporting the unique design and prototyping process and encouraging effortless communication and collaboration.
In standard car dealership design, there are four main programmatic functions. There’s the showroom, the light filled, new car scented place of dreams; the drive through, the spot for dropping off your car when reality hits and the dream flops; the service center for oil changes and tune ups; and the body shop where fender benders expensively disappear. That building program translates to a building typology you see across the country that still exists today. Our design utilizes these four distinct spaces to our advantage and strategically connects them to facilitate a transparent and efficient work flow supporting the process. The old showroom has become the conference center, a new place to showcase ideas. The drive thru bays have become light filled hubs of daily activity housing the reception, café, and gaming area. The service center and body shop has transformed the design center and fabrication center with project team and control rooms stitching the two together.
A clean wood ceiling connects the studio space with the lobby and hospitality area.
The family focused culture at Priority Designs is represented in a hospitality area right inside the front door that promotes staff gatherings and casual separation from the day to day challenges in the studio.
Large window openings were carved into the existing concrete warehouse façade, which immediately transforms the former car dealership into an airy design studio.
Small team collaboration spaces pop up throughout to support larger projects.
The existing trench drain was utilized to run data cabling to the open office environment and keep the ceilings as open and clean as possible.
Owners, Lois and Paul Kolada, stated that the space has improved internal communication, driven creative results, and helped to improve clients’ understanding of the Priority Design process. In the four years since their new space has opened, Priority Designs has won an additional 5 IDEA Awards (two bronze, one silver, and two gold), thus doubling their awards from the first 25 years of their business. One of the award-winning projects, the Access Strength, was a triple winner in 2016, winning not only the Gold Award but also Best in Show and Design for Equality. In 2018, Priority Designs launched a new website dedicated specifically to their prototyping department, which signals how successful they have been since occupying the new space.
The City of Whitehall has cited the renovation as a model for community improvement and the value of public/private partnerships. Since construction, The City has secured 50 million dollars of proposed redevelopment neighboring this old car dealership turned focal point. By way of design that embraces context, Whitehall is reclaiming the future of their city on their terms.
Swipe to see the abandoned car dealership evolve into the vibrancy that is Priority Designs.
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