The Gallery on Fifth

The Gallery on Fifth, a seven-story urban living space in Tucson, Arizona, is much more than an apartment complex. It’s an innovative space that celebrates art in every form. From its architecture to furniture to paintings, it’s an immersive experience for the senses. The artistic expressions go beyond the traditional display scene by placing visually stunning and distinct pieces atop each interior door. Each floor has a theme, including Hollywood stars, artists, movie posters, landmarks, and paintings. From Elvis Presley to the Girl with the Pearl Earring to scenes from the world, each door is a beacon of inspiration and conversation. The complex includes 96 doors, requiring a material that would display the art beautifully while still durable enough for constant use.


Locating a suitable material to use was a significant component of the project. Florencia DeRoussel, principal and director of design at Within Studio, and her team considered durability, performance, and cost. They began to research several options and quickly realized that standard peel and stick paper materials wouldn’t work in a high traffic area. While the peel and stick would have been easy on the budget, DeRoussel considered the total cost of ownership versus the concerns regarding the temporary nature of this material, since the project is permanent. “The peel and stick would have been easy to damage or peel off just from normal use. Water could seep in, too.” The next option considered was commercial vinyl, which is predominantly a material used on car wraps. The film produces vibrant imagery, but they were unsure of its longevity. At this time, DeRoussel reached out to the local Specification Rep at Wilsonart, Joseph Kluger, and they reviewed possibilities, ultimately landing on RE-COVER™ for ease of installation. Kluger mentioned, “The application for these images is in a high-traffic and high-touch space, requiring a material with high endurance. Additionally, they needed something easy to clean and long-lasting. Wilsonart® By You (WXY) met every performance and design need for the space.”

Having the ability to customize the material with the added benefit of durability for cleaning while still creating an art-gallery-like atmosphere made Wilsonart® RE-COVER™ even more desirable. Kluger added, “The doors won’t just be doors, they’re really going to be art now.” The WXY product combines the high-performance of Wilsonart’s High Pressure Laminate (HPL) with personal customization. HPL delivers long-lasting performance that’s a great sustainable choice and provides a world of possibilities.RE-COVER™ offers a way to combine laminate with a pre-applied adhesive. The material always impacts the look, and these doors need to be vibrant and high-quality. Oftentimes, practicality is chosen over design functionality when specifying a material, but Wilsonart’s fully custom HPL capabilities addressed both design functionality and practicality.

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