When Norman Rabinovich contacted me to discuss a display case concept for his storefront I knew it was going to be something very unique. Norman is the proprietor of Studio 5in1 a design collective that provides cutting-edge office and retail space to its in-house designers and entrepreneurs. Located on North 6th Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn, I knew this project had to be bold in design and function. Norman had several leftover pieces of reclaimed Douglas Fir joists that had been purchased at Build it Green in Astoria Queens and were used to build his floor and to cover an entire wall. Norman and I share in our appreciation of ecologically-conscious design and business practices so finding another use for these reclaimed boards was a must. We spoke briefly on the phone and later that afternoon I was picking up the lumber from Studio 5in1 with a basic plan... build a display case that uses as much of the leftover wood as possible.
Because we wanted to keep the patina of the 100+ year old lumber I was faced with the difficult task of constructing a solid, functional structure from irregular materials that could not be milled into perfect boards. It took a few days, many sketches, many mockups, a few splinters, and a lot of measuring, but I finally sorted out the final design, which would feature vertical planks with an internal structure that allowed an acrylic top to be lit from beneath while at the same time providing ample storage and access from behind.
It took 4 men to deliver this piece, but when it was finally in place all people involved in moving it agreed unanimously that it was worth every ounce of effort. The piece looked at home in the retail space and provided the much needed anchor the storefront needed.