Project Spotlight: Our Berkeley Showroom by Arcsine | Fireclay Tile
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Project Spotlight: Our Berkeley Showroom by Arcsine

By Ted Ryan

Project Spotlight: Our Berkeley Showroom by Arcsine

We're thrilled to expand our retail presence to Berkeley, where we've long held valued relationships with the East Bay design community. In finding the right location we wanted to take what we know works in San Francisco but find a way to reduce the showroom's overall footprint allowing us to be located in a more accessible location like Fourth St.

4th Street Berkeley, CA

Our new location
will serve homeowners and designers alike, and we've retained signature Fireclay environment elements like the pattern and color walls.

Berkeley Showroom Tile Wall

Because we are makers it's important to us that a physical space serves its utilitarian role and also leaves room for product, details, and for finishes to really make the space feel special.

Berkeley Showroom, Design Consultant

The physical environment is designed to be welcoming and open; we're very particular in selecting finish materials that complement our product and our brand ethos. It's equally important to create a space that showcases our handmade tile and allows our clients a space to think and imagine as we work alongside them to bring their vision to life.

Floor Tile: 6" Hexagon in Antique

To bring this vision to life, we partnered with the Oakland-based architecture and interior firm Arcsine, Sweitzer Construction, and Rigney Tile. To celebrate the opening of our first showroom outside of San Francisco, we sat down with Elizabeth Dillon, Angela Hong, and Liz Dalton of Arcsine to learn about the firm, their approach to this project, and what tile brings to a design. Continue on for our full interview with their team!

Berkeley Showroom

How did you get your start in design?

Elizabeth Dillon, Director of Interiors: Traveling was a memorable part of my childhood, and I loved looking at all the design details from the places we visited and the hotels we stayed in. I knew at a young age I wanted to be an Interior Designer and during college was lucky enough to get an internship with a hospitality design firm which helped pave the way for my career in hospitality/commercial design.

Elizabeth Dillon, Director of Interiors at Arcsine.
Elizabeth Dillon, Director of Interiors

Can you tell us about your design process? Which phase do you enjoy most?

Angela Hong, Director of Architecture: What I strive to do at every project kick-off with the team is to establish clear goals for the project, including the financial, programmatic, and operational requirements, as well as a clear aesthetic vision. This helps me with my decision-making throughout the design process and helps turn an idea into reality while staying within the project parameters. What I enjoy about the Schematic Design and Design Development phase is how a conceptual idea is explored and iterated upon in collaboration with the greater project team. I use all tools at my disposal, from hand sketching, 3D modeling, doing a deep dive building code analysis to researching innovative products.
It is exciting to arrive at thoughtful solutions to design challenges that are unique to the project, and to stay true to the overall project aesthetic.

Angela Hong, Director of Architecture at Arcsine
Angela Hong, Director of Architecture

Here are drawings of our new showroom from Arcsine:

How did you get involved with the Berkeley showroom?

ED: A Fireclay team member recommended us as we've worked closely with them over the years on our projects. In addition to loving their products, we were excited to be part of the team to bring the Berkeley showroom to life!

Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Tile Shown: Picket in Seedling // Design: Arcsine // Image: Paul Dyer

Have you ever designed a showroom before?

AH: I have worked on a number of retail spaces that showcase small objects to a large garden concept. What was particularly special about designing the showroom for Fireclay Tile was that it was an exercise in restraint. Since the product we are highlighting is also a building material, every design decision was made to ensure that they were the main feature in the space. Our design proposal included clear circulation paths, well-defined collaboration spaces, and thoughtful fixture design that encourages interaction with the products, allowing us to maximize the footprint of the showroom space while maintaining a clean, airy aesthetic which was the key objective for the design.

Floor Tile: 6" Hexagon in Antique

What is your favorite part of the Berkeley showroom?

Our team is equally split on our favorite design features in the space. Elizabeth's is the color tile wall, Angela's is the central design table, and Liz's is the pattern tile wall. We're also not so secretly looking forward to using this showroom all the time.

Floor Tile: 6" Hexagon in Antique

Why do you love tile?

Liz Dalton, Interior Designer: As a material that has been around for thousands of years, tile is truly timeless. It's also a fantastic way to bring color and pattern into a room and can completely transform the look of a space. I love the huge variety of glazes, formats, and shapes available. I particularly enjoy patterns that can be laid out in different ways (like Fireclay's Picket tile, which feels so different as a straight-set versus a braid).

Liz Dalton, Interior Designer at Arcsine.
Liz Dalton, Interior Designer

Which of our products would you love to use in future projects?

LD: Signal from the Block Shop collaboration is so unique! I'm particularly drawn to the Wood colorway. It feels surprisingly versatile too - I could see this going in a contemporary, rustic, or retro direction depending on the application.

Signal in Wood Motif.

Tile Shown: Signal in Wood Motif

We're so excited to show off our new home in Berkeley. Visit our showrooms page to make a plan to stop by and start something beautiful!