Today's Yahoo! news search for self-storage upturned a press release about Flex Storage Systems in Topeka, Kan. (See our Hot News Feed.) This gorgeous facility was actually highlighted in the May 2005 issue of Inside Self-Storage for a one-of-a-kind art display on exhibit within its walls. Now it has been given a design award by Architectural Lighting magazine, and it certainly deserves it. Check out these pics:
It's just lovelyin a very Ikea-esque kind of way. What struck me was this comment is the AL press release:
"The recommendation of a study conducted by the developer for the reclamation of an old strip mall, the project included not only an architect, but a lighting designer and a landscape consultantunusual in the slap-it-up world of storage facilities."
Is that the world we live in? Those of you battling with a local zoning board or planning committee will differ. I don't imagine the AL staff keeps many tabs on our low-class, industrial-grade industry, does it? We just don't rate. I mean, our idea of design is to toss up a few metal boxes with some garish roll-up doors and call it good, right?
Harumph. Talk about stereotypes.
I'll admit storage isn't glitzy, but we all know modern-day storage design is far more demanding than even a few years ago. Increased competition, the battle for prime real estate, and municipalities have made this so. Just take a look at the facilities being submitted to the Messenger's annual "Facility of the Year" award, and you'll see how truly sophisticated we are becoming.
We may not be glamorous. And we may not always be urbane. But we are no longer the trashy stepchild AL would paint us to be. We're more like ... What is that hackneyed catch phrase designers are using these days? ... Oh, yeah ... shabby chic. Slap this, AL:
Now repeat this after me: Storage CAN be pretty ... Storage CAN be pretty ...