NYC is filled with some amazing spaces most locals and visitors don’t know exist. Design industry friends will be familiar with the showrooms located discretely in the upper floors of many buildings across Manhattan. A showroom visit can often times come with an added bonus of seeing the city from a rare perspective.
Over the past several years, the Flatiron district has become a hub for furniture, lighting and surface material showrooms. The area has a great stock of older, generous sized buildings with classic NYC loft spaces. The latest brand to snatch up one of these prime locations is HBF. The forty year old company mostly known for producing textiles recently opened a light-filled new showroom just south of the Flatiron building.
The renovation of the sixth floor space was overseen by HBF’s Vice President and General Manager, Casey Baxter. She selected New York City-based, certified minority and women-owned Alda Ly Architecture (ALA) to design the space that blends the best of contemporary hospitality and workplace thinking.
Both standout features of the main space take advantage of lighting. The large central skylight, original to the building, was retained and used to create a central atrium framed by restored round columns. Glimpses of some of the surrounding historic buildings can be seen through the sloped panes.
A feature area for textiles is located within an alcove illuminated by a wall to wall stretch fabric ceiling. The diffused ceiling panel can be hue adjusted to simulate different lighting temperatures to get a more accurate preview of a fabric’s color.
On an adjacent corner is an opening to the wellness hallway, a corridor designed to include amenities and a small lounge space. This is where the showroom leans most towards feeling like a hotel. Behind one of the doors is a space primarily designed to serve as a mother’s room. The floral wall covering lined room is meant to feel low-key and calming to contrast the bright and airy main showroom area.
One last and somewhat secret portion of the showroom is the outdoor roof deck. Accessed via a stairwell, the deck offers views of the south side of the Flatiron building and surrounding 23rd st skyline. The space will become a small showcase area for outdoor furniture pieces from HBF during fair weather months.
Photos and Text: Dave Pinter