Continuum Architects planned, programmed, and designed Travaux’s (the development arm of the Housing Authority of Milwaukee) new space, capturing their unique culture and addressing their changing workforce needs. Lighting design played a critical role to define various spaces in this large open volume. With the use of LED strips, our team created a cylindrical feature utilizing the Travaux logo – a “Plumb Bob” – to fashion a chandelier.
To pay homage to the heritage of the City of Milwaukee, and knowing HACM was the guardian of some substantial architectural relics and artifacts captured from demolition of historical mansions, the team scouted and decided to incorporate and feature one of these treasures into the design of the space. The selected item was a large stained-glass mosaic panel originally meant as a skylight over the third-floor billiard room of Plankinton Mansion.
The stunning piece was created using 25,000 pieces of blue, gold, and yellow colored glass mounted in zinc and copper. It was part of a custom-built mansion for Elizabeth Plankinton, a wedding gift given to her from her father John Plankinton and designed by prominent 19th century Architect Edward Townsend Mix. The 12-panel artifact remained in the residence for 87 years.
The right opportunity to display them came around with the Travaux office design. Continuum incorporated them in a museum quality back drop, covered in large format tile, backlit to showcase the colored full-glass mosaics. These panels capture one’s attention upon entrance and they are organized to wrap around an existing concrete stair shaft making them visible to all from every corner of the office space.