All Images: Patricia Chang
With over 5000SF of 2x2 tiles in a rainbow of colors, Salesforce East in San Francisco is what happens when a talented group of designers, artists, colorists and tile come together. CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, wanted the building to feel playful and these mosaic kitchen backplashes are exactly that. Our Bay Area Commercial Rep, Caitlyn Child, worked closely with the designers at Gensler, along with Salesforce and our incredible mosaic and production teams to bring this project to life, we're sharing the story below. Working on a larger scale commercial project like this? Contact us here.
The initial concept for the series of 20 kitchen backsplashes was a color gradation, but Salesforce ended up shifting gears. While they didn't end up going this route, the spectrum of colors developed by a colorist in partnership with our glaze master, Khai Lam, were still used in the project:
This is where things got really interesting. Marc Benioff had been collecting the work of Japanese artist Shinji Murakami (who is inspired by the pixelated look of early 80's video games) and wanted to incorporate his work into the building.
The first theme was a cityscape to reflect San Francisco's skyline. Shinji created the artwork based on the elevations of the spaces Gensler sent him and from that made a map for our mosaics team to use. Here is the city scape being laid out at our factory:
Here it the city scape completed:
Each mosaic pattern had its own color coded map (sort of like a giant paint by numbers), like this one:
The head of our Mosaic Department, Holley Southworth says that her team's, "scrutiny and eye for detail have been key in the success of this endeavor." They sheeted each and every one of these 2x2 tiles and she also says that, "Although stressful at times, the overall experience has and continues to be a true learning experience that has laid the groundwork for future mosaics projects of similar significance."
Below are all the rainbows laid out on the factory floor. The mosaic team would number each square foot for the installers to make installation a breeze:
Here are the completed rainbows:
Caitlyn Child, of our Commercial team says, "This project has really highlighted the remarkable expertise and problem solving abilities among individuals in our company. We really stepped up our processes and fostered amazing relationships among our team and with Salesforce along the way."
While it began in San Francisco, these mosaic backplashes will be installed in Salesforce buildings throughout the country and the world. After the success of this project, they signed on for our tile in New York, Boston, Washington state, Colorado, Indiana and globally in: London, Munich, India, Sydney and Amsterdam. The themes in each location are loosely based on the cities they are in. For example, Amsterdam will have Starry Night by Van Gough and Salesforce East in San Francisco also got a Warriors themed mosaic:
Here are a few more of these incredible installations for you to enjoy and we'll keep sharing more as this project continues!
In memory of Khai Lam (1975-2016), our friend, Technical Director and a true master of color. This project and so many others wouldn't have been possible without him.
Inspired by all these colorful 2x2 tiles? Order samples online now. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly. Working on a commercial project? Contact Us for more information about our Trade Program and volume pricing.