Research shows that the beauty of art is good for our health. Just spending the day walking through an art museum can have a positive effect on your nervous system, your mental outlook and even on the way the heart pumps blood through your veins.
When DDA Development sought to revitalize a block in the “Innovation and Arts” District of downtown St. Petersburg with a new and unique condo residence, they looked to the local community for inspiration. Downtown St. Petersburg has long prided itself as a community centered around the arts.
The monthly art walks that unite the downtown studios and galleries for the purpose of sharing their art with the community bring people from all walks of life together to enjoy a night of artistic expression. Besides the monthly art walks, residents or visitors can become an artist with a variety of art classes in almost every genre from clay sculpting to glass blowing occurring every day of the week. And then there is what some might consider the anchor of our arts community, “The Dalí Museum.” Just seeing the exterior design of this building is enough to inspire an appreciation for the imagination and what is possible in artistic and architectural design.
To ensure the soul of this arts community is in every aspect of the building design, DDA Development partnered with local architecture firm, MESH Architecture. From the shape of the pool to the lobby art, there is a focus on creative expression with some of the design being an homage to the artist Salvador Dalí. The building reflects the merging of art and function.
“We wanted people to feel the power of art each and every time they stepped into The Salvador. The lobby needed to be modern and artistic,” says John Schilling of DDA Development. To do this, DDA commissioned local artist Ron Francis to do the lobby in polished plaster. Francis is a skilled tradesman in the art of plaster and specifically a technique called grasello that gives the wall a highly polished, high sheen look. His plaster is “private labeled” made out of Carrera marble flour, which he layers on the wall in a highly labor-intensive way that is an artisan art form centuries old. The multi-layered wall is unique and makes a modern statement that is almost like having a seamless marble wall.
The uniqueness of The Salvador design is everywhere and by partnering with the “locals”, the building reflects what is already creative and genuine about the community of downtown St. Pete. By bringing the arts into the design, DDA Development has had the subtle effect of creating an atmosphere that feels nourishing and healthy to the residents and their guest.