Boutique Design - March/April 2010 - (Page 38)

I N S P I R A T I O N Any Way the Wind Blows B Y K A T I E T A N D Y I nspiration is a slippery devil, defying finite boundaries and sometimes even logic. Every designer claims a different source for its impetus; a haunting refrain, the shape and color of a fruit, a historic building — the world is teeming with inspiration. BD discovered three very different things that moved us — a man, a renovation and a company, each touting its own style and story sure to get your proverbial juices flowing. ered the nature of Fathom, the couple soon entered negotiations, as Jensen was eager to pass the torch to another small company rather than indulge developers who were pining to build condos. The couple brought in photographers Stirling Elmendorf and Adam Fenster to document the decay of the circa-1885 building prior to construction. Mitchell and Fisher then designed a multi-use space where an art gallery, a pristine workspace for Fathom Creative and a loft-like resiloaded word, “fathom” originally stems from Greek origins, dency for themselves would reside. The top two floors of the building had been boarded up by Jensen, meaning “outstretched arms.” In English it conveys both an understanding and a probing of depth. A multi-faceted word, preserving the 1960s apartments as a kind of historic tableau. “For the its conceptual potency was not lost on Drew Mitchell and Bill Fisher, last 50 years the second and third floors have been an urban time capfounders of Fathom Creative, a visual communications company that sule,” said Mitchell. “Furniture and clothes, kitchens with old appliances, gracefully sprawls across every means of conveying information. light fixtures. All the high-gloss lead paint had curled down the ceilings Whether it’s front end design or back end development, video instal- and the edges of the walls with these beautiful shapes and forms.” Fenster and Elmendorf’s photographs now comprise the contents lations, branding or marketing collateral, Fathom offers cutting-edge of the art gallery, documenting an authentic before and technology and an avant-garde vision to its clients. after experience. Fathom also has a collaborative Fathom was founded in 1994 on Dupont Circle in event planned for April with renowned D.C. gallery Washington D.C., a once red-hot spot for burgeoning Transformer, which will benefit the Washington artists and creative types which were few and far Opera. “Fathom and Transformer have a natural synerbetween in the D.C. area. “When I think of D.C., and gy and affinity,” said Mitchell. I’ve been here 20 years, I look at it as a very old place, Although much of the building had to be gutted, the very conservative, steeped in tradition,” said Mitchell. Fathom team went to great lengths to Since Fathom was conceived as preserve and repurpose the historic the very antitheses of such social materials on hand, working with morays, constantly on the cusp of new Drew Mitchell and Bill Fisher Lawson Architects to actualize their innovations, Mitchell and Fisher vision. “One of the highlights of the decided in 2009 that it was time to building was finding in the basement move after a 15-year stretch in the original garage doors,” said Fisher. Dupont Circle. “It was no longer “They now serve as the divider the number one art center in between the large kitchen on the secWashington,” Mitchell explained. “It ond floor and the rest of the gallery had moved over to the 14th Street room.” Even the apartment doors were Corridor in terms of prominence.” reinvented, now serving as headboards Fisher and Mitchell immediately in the couple’s bedroom. “When we sought a space with the potential The gleaming new art gallery at Fathom Creative did this space, we wanted to be more to echo their creative impulse. They The dilapidated interior prior to gutting involved with the community, serving soon discovered a highly unlikely canas support to local artists,” said Fisher. didate that wasn’t even on the market. The property finally opened this past “We saw this gorgeous decrepit buildDecember, a monument to creativity ing that was a brake shop — Lee from the entrance to the restrooms to Jensen Brake Service — he had run the roof. “We looked at this building as his business there for 50 years,” said one big canvas,” said Mitchell. Mitchell. Once Lee Jensen discov- Discerning Design Fathom Creative Opens a Multi-Use Mecca 38 • boutique DESIGN march/april 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boutique Design - March/April 2010

Boutique Design - March/April 2010
Table Of Contents
Hyatt Opens First Andaz Hotel On Wall Street In NYC
Brintons Announces Second Collection With Scottish Duo
AB Concept In Hong Kong Creates The French Window, Overlooking The Harbor
Washington D.C. Celebrates Revamped Design Center
Q&A With Kit Kemp, On How She Successfully Brought Firmdale Hotels To The U.S. With The Crosby Street
Adam Tihany Delivers Las Vegas’ First Mandarin Oriental After A Collective Deep Breath, CityCenter Opens And Adam Tihany Delivers Las Vegas’ First Mandarin Oriental
World By Design
Fathom Creative Turns A Dilapidated Brake Shop Into New Multi-Use Space For Art, Business, Life And Inspiration
German Theorist And Author, Boris Groys, Discusses His Book, Art Power And The Idea Of Tourists As Architects As Part Of This Month’s Inspiration
Designer Meetups Hosts Big Wigs In Design To Share Inspiration And Discuss Trends In Informal, Open Environments
Brian Orter Weighs In On The Popular Debate In The Design Community About Hand Drawings Versus Realistic Computer Renderings
EnVogue: BD Brings You Snapshots
Bath And Spa:
Calender/Advertisers Index

Boutique Design - March/April 2010