Tuesday, December 8, 2009

VanDeVelde NY Showroom is 3D made by inform

One interesting project completed recently by inform studio inc. was a complex display for a famous
European lingerie company in New York City's garment district. Van De Velde is an international company expanding into the U.S. market and inform studio built a stunning display designed by ilab for Van De Veld's flagship New York City wholesale studio.

The project is truly a 3-D spectacle. Twenty one individual polyhedrons are grouped together to form an undulating wall of geometry. ilab architects produced over 100 drawings to describe the project in enough detail for inform studio inc. to build it. Cabinetry is always an assemblage of parts which then connect and form a whole . In this case the parts were complete and interesting objects in their own right. The individual units were fabricated to hang on the wall just like a traditional cabinet. Each unit has a recessed back and cleats which are hidden from view which the units hang from.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kitchen Island Cantilever

Inform studio is in the process of fabricating a custom kitchen in a building on 5th Ave. and 9th street for B-Space architecture . The design incorporates an island which wraps an existing steel column. As so often is the case a design idea can arise from a recognition of the inherent problems of the existing space. Here the architect is incorporating the existing column into the design .
To my mind cantilevers are always interesting for they appear to defy the natural law of gravity. This of course is not true.
The weight is distributed with help from structural materials which are often hidden from view. The pivot point could also be moved off center by simply adding more weight at one end. The visual effect when used in a particular context can make even a very large object appear to float.
The Kitchen we are building will have an assembled group of cabinets forming an island . We have buried two by two inch steel tube in the island to support the weight of the counter . A little more than half the total length of the island will be suspended. In addition to drawers and space for a microwave, the island will include a pantry which pulls out of the column cabinet. The pantry door panel has magnets buried into its mitred edge which will help insure a tight closure and keep the illusion of a solid wood column .

Monday, June 15, 2009

inform studio's great crew installs E. Braun cabinets on Park Ave. NYC

While creating modern minimal boxes for E.Braun Inform produces complex curved traditional vanities for the Pierre Hotel NY

Recently one of inform studio's most talented cabinet makers produced a series of complex curved vanities for a famous New York Hotel. This work came to inform through a relationship with a much older and extremely well respected cabinet company. We here at inform were flattered to be asked to build a project for an older company with a long history and well deserved top reputation for creating traditional classical cabinet details.

Like so many projects in New York City time was of the essence and inform produced 3 vanities two of which were curved and 3 medicine cabinets and paneling in one month.

These pieces upon delivery looked effortless but the process is far from it. Two separate jigs are made for each door style and another for the door panels themselves. Additional jigs are made for the panel mouldings which had to be made on a Shaper. a further complication is that the two curved vanities were not the same radius so each had to have it's own unique set of jigs to produce the curves which in the end look so simple and elegant.

At any one time in the studio we may have pieces as traditional and complex as these vanities being produced while at the same time building modern works which have more in common with Donald Judd's work than the classical traditions of the past. For me it is all flowing together and I do not see them as so opposed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Inform creates elegant floating white elevations on Park Ave. NYC

In two months inform studio has added approximately 26o linear feet of white lacquer cabinetry for an established elegant retailer of fine linens. Inform Studio was contracted by Chilmark Builders to produce all the display cabinetry for this project.

The goal was to create a quiet white space to serve as a backdrop for E. Brauns elegant items. This week Inform Studio will finish the project . The three main concerns were quality, speed of fabrication and cost. Inform produced shop drawings and revised drawings as needed ,fabricated and installed all items in under 2 months on a tight budget. Even with design changes and approval delays the project is being brought in on time. To insure a good fit we made many site visits, small changes in site conditions were noted and adjustments made before installation The project has been installed with tight tolerances and a clean shop sprayed finish. Inform worked closely with Orsini design and Chilmark Builders and offers special thanks to their efforts to make this project happen smoothly.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

smith point bungalow journal #1

About a year and a half ago my wife and I and another couple bought a small house near
Smith Point Long Island. And while it is technically not a bungalow which is a Hindi word for a one story house It is of a small scale and I like to think of it as a place where one opens the door and flops down on the floor and is happy. It is strictly a weekend getaway, a place of solace from our lives in the city. The house stands one mile from the beach, part of a middle class and sometimes barely middle class neighborhood most of which does not seem to be aware of this beautiful location. The fact is the neighborhood could not be more unaware of its natural surroundings. Our neighbors our generally enamored of the rotting boats, trailers and cars strewn on their property perhaps with a fruit tree planted dead center on the lawn.
Like most homes in America these homes were built by developers who were not interested in design. They were interested in money. Small lot sizes and odd architectural vernacular is the norm. It's really a crime in America that the people who purchase homes have no say in building them.
The first improvement I made was to remove the Home Depot issue carriage lights from either side of the front door. I left the GE compact fluorescent projecting straight out like 2 pig tails. The second big improvement was to remove the standard issue lamppost. It's always so funny to me the way styles of the past are handed down.

My wife and I had many thoughts about what we wanted this house to become but for the first year and a half all we did was drink glasses of red wine, and think about it. If we were rich we would probably just tear the house down and build something. Since we are not rich we are forced to respond to the existing circumstance. This can be a challenge and inspiring. It's less ego centric since one has to respond to what someone else has given you. One thing cool is you don't have to think about inspiration. The existing elements call out to you.
The house was built in the 1950's Id say and is extremely unremarkable. It is more or less a box. That is the good part. The bad part is that it is not a perfect box. The house
has been added to in the back and once was a two family . This history is visible as soon as one one steps into the house. The interior layout is haphazard . That said it is is generally open and clean. So my approach to the inside and the outside of this property is the same. Begin to strip it down to something simpler. Inside we started by simply trying to open the space a bit and install a new kitchen. The space downstairs is interrupted by a column which contains a chimney. While it would be great to remove it it would be a big job and also require changing the heating system from a boiler system to something else most likely electric. The first thought I had was to open the downstairs to become as large as possible. The first floor consists of a kitchen a living room a laundry room and a bathroom. I judged the bathroom OK for now and the laundry room a great thing to have. It would have been possible to demolish both and come up with a new floor plan but this seemed like too much for our budget and what the house is really worth. The property only cost $220,000 and It's only a weekend place so we don't want to put too much into it. Anyone doing work on their home knows that costs add up quickly even if you are doing most of the work yourself.
So now finally we have begun to do some things. Stay tuned for the renovation of a Smith Point Bungalow.