In Brooklyn, NY, there’s a condominium complex at 325 Kent Avenue, right across from the Domino Sugar Factory. The building is shaped like a square donut, a description their leasing office plays up in their own marketing. Within that building is a new Submaterial wall covering that we had a lot of fun creating and installing.
Leeser Architecture contacted us seeking a customized, full-scale wall covering based on our Odessa T-variant design, a sandwiched felt, tabbed in a random pattern. “It’s systematized randomness,” says Emily Howe, Director of Studio Operations. “It’s a variation of a wood panel design that we do.” Instead of wood, Leeser chose wool felt on a cork backing, excellent materials for abating noise in a shared space. We volleyed a few rounds of samples to our client before settling on the final layout and color. Then it was time to produce it.
First our team masterminded a way to produce an unsystematic pattern that could be made in quantity and safely shipped. “The design is supposed to look random but had to be reproducible on a large scale,” says Cristine Posner, Production Manager. Then, they designed two versions of a 6’ long by 18” wide tile that allowed the pieces to adjoin seamlessly during installation. The final puzzle piece was shipping the whole lot intelligently. “We designed the systematic random pattern so the tiles could be nested, face to face, for shipping, without the tabs butting up against one another. That was an interesting constraint,” says Cristine. “It was six crates of relatively heavy but delicate material.”
Our team of four traveled to NY to oversee the installation and to add the final tabs. “Our product went in on the top floor, which has a community room, lounge space, and a gym,” says Cristine. “The building is shaped like a donut,” she laughs. “There’s a hole in it,” Emily agrees. Working in pairs, they finished it in four days. The views, they tell us, were amazing.