Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial To The Holocaust

About 3 months ago I was contacted by exhibit designer, Dan Fouad, from C&G Partners, LLC , an internationally-acclaimed design firm located in Union Square. Dan was working on a project for a new exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park and needed a sustainable furniture designer/builder to collaborate with in order to deliver something truly worthy of the exhibit's message and the amazing views the exhibit space provided of the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.

Over a period of 2 months I worked with the C&G team comprised of exhibit designer, Dan Fouad, project manager, Laura Koo, partner-in-charge Jonathan Alger, and partner-in-charge/graphic design Emanuela Frigerio. Together, we arrived at an amazing, eco-friendly design utilizing Neopolitan Plyboo (bamboo plywood) and steel fabricated by the artisans at Metal Dimensions in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The design incorporated a 120 degree angle into each piece, which coordinates with the angle found at the end of the room where the glass walls look out onto the Hudson River.

Our eco-friendly materials were also finished in a very "green" way: The Plyboo was finished with a hand-applied, water-based formula so not only is the product earth-friendly, but it wasn't sprayed into the air so no airborne pollutants were created. The steel is 100% recyclable and was painted with a low VOC semi-gloss.

The 10 benches, 1 desk, and 1 kiosk will be in place for approximately 18 months with many thousands of visitors expected to use them so they need to be very durable. Fortunately, Plyboo is a very dense and reliable material that is more than capable of holding up to the repeated use much better than a typical veneered plywood and the steel base is made of 3/4" solid square tube, not hollow, so it too will last for many years to come.

Every project I undertake is important to me and I thoroughly enjoy every one of them. This project, like those before it, brought many challenges and many victories. What sets this project apart is that this exhibit is a living memorial to the Holocaust and the Museum it's housed in sits only steps away from Ground Zero. Being of Jewish heritage (on my father's side) and a New Yorker who not only lost friends on 9/11 but also worked recovery at Ground Zero this project hit very close to home for me. I can only hope each visitor to this exhibit feels the love and gratitude I put into each piece of furniture and takes a moment to reflect while sitting on one of my benches.

*Special thanks to everybody at C&G Partners who are an amazingly creative, brilliant, and organized team of professionals with whom I would eagerly work on any future project. Huge thanks to Alice Rubin at the Museum of Jewish Heritage whose attention to detail and kindness was ever-present and very much appreciated. Thanks to my friends at Soliemoves who did such an amazing job delivering all 12 of the pieces safely and quickly. Thanks to my friends Robyn Mierzwa and Kenon Perry who lent a big hand in the completion of these pieces. A big thanks to Avi Kendi at Metal Dimensions whose expertise and vision were an asset to this project. And thanks to my friends at Eco Supply Center who delivered the Plyboo for this project.

Please enjoy these pictures and let them inspire you to visit the museum and this amazing exhibit...

(photo credits: C&G Partners, LLC)

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