While the Brooklyn Bazaar gears up for its “Fuck 2016!” party, the multidisciplinary space that took over its old digs in Greenpoint is set to open after the holiday season. We’re told construction of A/D/O is officially complete. In case you’ve forgotten, the new creative space is an experiment from BMW dedicated to MINI, the design company they own. The 23,000-square-foot former warehouse in the neighborhood’s Industrial Business Zone will be part restaurant/bar, part shop, and part co-working space for designers.
All of that adds up to “a home for creative work and investing in the role that design will play shaping the future,” said managing director Nate Pinsley. Designers of all sorts can work at the A/D/O space, whether they’re an architect or graphic designer seeking a long-term workspace or a product designer or engineer hoping to reconnect with colleagues on an irregular basis.
Desk rentals are available at $600 per month. Basic members have access to fabrication tools like a vinyl cutter, sewing machines, screen-printing kits, and 3D printers. Full members also have access to on-staff mentors, who are there for “support and inspiration, and to reducing friction in the creative process.”
But, again, this isn’t just a workplace. The A/D/O Design Academy will present a seasonal program created for design professionals, according to Pinsley. The first program, “Utopia vs. Dystopia: Designing Our Imagined Futures,” will commence with a three-day festival from January 27 to 29, and will investigate “the role design plays in a world of rapid change,” according to a press release. It will feature a partnership between various design firms and talks from design entrepreneur Yves Behar and design writer Alice Rawsthorn.
The area is “built for designers but open to all,” the release stated. Adjacent to the public space of A/D/O will be a self-described “contemporary restaurant, café, in-house bakery and bar” called Norman, with a bar and café by Fredrik Berselius, chef-owner of acclaimed Williamsburg restaurant Aska, and his New Nordic cohort Claus Meyer.
There will also be a shop, so locals can “consume design” and designers can sell their products right from where they work. There will be items for sale that design professionals may need, like top-of-the-line stationery, rulers, projectors, and items selected from international design fairs. You can look forward to being able to get the world’s smallest folding electric bicycle once the shop opens.
Aesthetically, this place looks exactly how you would imagine a creative space in Greenpoint developed by a major company to look like, if that’s the kind of thing you think about. The exterior consists of existing brick and what A/D/O described as “reconstituted graffiti,” which incorporates the murals that have collected over the years. The roof is a brightly colored, flowery painting, entitled “Bountiful Boisterous Blooms,” by the Brooklyn-based artist and graphic designer Mike Perry.
The interior contrasts with only white, gray, and neutrals, as it is “conceived as a blank canvas for the work of its community of designers,” per Pinsley. There are a plethora of skylights, including a 16-foot-tall permanent mirrored skylight conceived by nARCHITECTS and fabricated by Brooklyn-based Caliper Studi, so the space is filled with natural light. In the large skylight, or “periscope,” the rooftop mural is reflected, creating a flower-power, acid-trip look. Right on.