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Simplicity enhances beauty at Gallery Twenty-Two, the venue for a recent, striking installment by designer Eric Boyd of Reaching Quiet Design in Charlotte, NC. For his first solo commercial design commission, Boyd was asked to create a wine bar for the up-and-coming art gallery that would be aesthetically pleasing yet understated at the same time. Boyd succeeded in delivering what the client asked for via the bar’s clean lines and subtle color scheme.
Project Objective + Client Feedback
Boyd’s client is a well-known tattoo artist, and well-connected in the art world. The client wanted to bring a contemporary art gallery and wine bar to the community, and while the bar was important, he didn’t want it to overpower the art in the gallery. The fact that concrete is highly customizable made it a great medium for Boyd, who had a very small space to work with and had to utilize muted, earthen colors.
The idea to create a “wine cave” in the corner of the gallery became the design direction, using a grayscale color palette in order to emphasize the art. Boyd was able to provide the needed aesthetic appeal and sophistication (especially due to its prominent location at a busy intersection) while adhering to a strict budget.
Design + Expertise
Able to work under this constraint by getting creative with “mundane” construction materials, Boyd used oriented strain board (OSB), slate, and concrete as his materials of choice. He also incorporated elements of frosted Lucite and steel as a cool contrast to the more humble materials. Overall, Boyd says, “…the space is subtle and tactile, while making the art front stage.”
When asked about the finished concrete bar countertop and walls, Boyd said that the client could not be happier. “Twenty-Two is quite the hot spot now—and the art has been well received with most shows selling out.”
A block from his own showroom and studio/shop, the project was conveniently located for Boyd. Despite this advantage, Boyd was faced with challenges on the project. Because of limited space, he had to find a way to house the appliances, plumbing fixtures, and retail wine store without encroaching on the art gallery. Everything behind the bar fits within 1/8″ tolerance, so design and fabrication were near perfect.
Nevertheless, the end result was a clever composition of ordinary materials and expert craftsmanship. Boyd confesses, “This is an aesthetic that we’ve developed due to our obsession with exposing the beauty in the mundane.”
2010 Best Commercial, CHENG Concrete Exchange Design Challenge
Recognized in the industry as the pinnacle of exceptional design and craftsmanship, the CHENG Concrete Exchange Design Challenge showcases talent and technical skill of the very best in creative concrete.
About Reaching Quiet Design
Driven to make meaningful things, a group of friends and creative collaborators formed Reaching Quiet Design in 2002 after graduating from the University of North Carolina. The firm has grown on its own, from the home garage to what it is now.
They started by designing and producing a series of furniture to be made on a very limited run. This series became available through our studio in 2004 and laid the foundation for a thoughtful aesthetic—something warm, invigorating, transforming and contemporary.
Reaching Quiet Studios has four divisions: design studio, wood shop, metals shop, and formed products shop (concrete and resin). Specializing in custom furniture, kitchen and bath design, cabinet making, concrete countertops, bars and hearths, Reaching Quiet Design emphasizes personal service and superior quality projects.