GREENskin is an experimental prototype for a permanent storefront glazing system made entirely of re-claimed insulated glazing units (IGU’s) salvaged from the local construction industry and reassembled to create a new shop-front in San Francisco’s Mission Commercial District. The system seamlessly receives the random shapes, sizes, colors, and thicknesses of this ubiquitous waste stream material, to create a continuous weather-proof skin at street level. It is the winner of a 2010 AIACC Merit Award for Design.
SITE: San Francisco, CA
SIZE: 1850 sq. ft.
SCOPE: Facade, Interior Gallery and Studio Renovation
DATE: Completed 2010
Five horizontal steel “shelves” are stretched across the entire facade set at varying offsets, which reduce vertically as they ascend. This allows the IGU’s to be overlapped like glass shingles, creating a “fish-scale” façade of transparent salvaged units. The vertical modulation allows for larger units at the bottom, and smaller units at the top, all “leaning” into the system like frames on display shelves. Two existing entry doors are accommodated into the airtight reclaimed skin. The minimal steel assembly is 75% recycled content and the IGU’s are 100% reclaimed material.
The salvaged units are arranged and rotated to create the most continuous horizontal skin possible across each shelf. FSC-certified wood is used for the doors and infill strips at edge conditions. The geometry, color, transmittance, and reflective quality of the individual found units varies widely producing an unexpected play of light and shadow across the GREENskin’s surface, tinting views through a Mondrian-like structure of intersecting frames and reflections.