Real estate development firm, Presidio Bay approached DEKA for the design and fabrication of steel screens for the back of their SOMA residential project, The Quinn. Having worked with DEKA in the past, they knew that DEKA is an architects’ fabrication firm: we are architect-led and understand how developers work and think, creating effortless collaborations.

The Quinn Art Screen project married utility and design. Presidio Bay had worked with LA artist, KFiSH, to create multi-story murals in the building’s interior courtyard, back patio and lobby. Our goal was to create functional architectural elements that continue and evoke The Quinn’s gallery-inspired aesthetic with DEKA’S signature clean, contemporary design.

The centerpiece of the project was the screen that would separate the garden area at the back of the building from the street. DEKA developed four design options that drew inspiration from the onsite art, architectural elements in the neighborhood and the Bay Area’s long tradition of drawing from east Asian aesthetics in its architecture.

With the client, we ultimately settled on a design that took its cues from the lines and simplicity of Japanese textiles. We added a subtle gradient to the pattern, where the perforated lines become wider, the space between the metal more open, as the eye moves from the bottom to the top of the screen. The effect is a sense of increasing lightness that is felt more than consciously seen.

The staggered design is also a practical one. It adds lateral strength to the construction, making it more durable. The modular design made the screens light and easy to transport and install without need for special equipment.

The success of this element of the project led the client to ask DEKA to also design and fabricate low gates for the building’s interior courtyard. Because DEKA was also able to solve Presidio’s technical needs, the project expanded further to include a handful of utility design elements – a fire riser enclosure, a triple sliding door enclosure, and steel panel cladding for the building’s façade.

Our design considered both the pattern and the placement of the screens. The screens function as fencing for the site’s garden level, where grass and small planters run the length of the site. Rather than using a standard flat design where the fence would sit outside of the planters on the street side, we developed the concept for screens that alternate from inside to outside of the planters. This increases visual interest from both the garden and street side by creating small plant alcoves.

The staggered design is also a practical one. It adds lateral strength to the construction, making it more durable. The modular design made the screens light and easy to transport and install without need for special equipment. 

The success of this element of the project led the client to ask DEKA to also design and fabricate low gates for the building’s interior courtyard. Because DEKA was also able to solve Presidio’s technical needs, the project expanded further to include a handful of utility design elements – a fire riser enclosure, a triple sliding door enclosure, and steel panel cladding for the building’s façade.