NEW YORK CITY – Macro Sea has transformed the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 7,800-sq-m interior into a workspace for New Lab. Both a resource and a community, New Lab is a platform for hardware-centric innovators utilizing advanced technologies. Employees work with a wide range of new technologies such as robots, AI and connectivity devices.
The designers tried to steer clear of the typical characteristics of a repurposed industrial building. Clichéd trends – ultra raw, industrial chic and what Macro Sea’s design director Nicko Elliott describes as ‘iPhone-ization and tech 4.0’ – were deliberately ignored. Instead, the vision involved looking to the future as it appeared in the past by creating a 1970s high-tech modernist muse. The design team was drawn to this period for three reasons: its emphasis on environmentalism, its collaborative techo-optimism, and the glamorous lens through which engineering and science were viewed.
Stylistically, the team drew inspiration from the cathedral-like truss work of the deserted building. The interior’s black-and-white shell was deliberately left in place to provide a blank canvas for the highly saturated Kubrick-esque colours of the furnishings, landscape and plant installations. The juxtaposition of brightly coloured furniture and botanical greenery dotted throughout the space creates a cosy yet playful atmosphere. On the other hand, demountable workstations with quilted wool and wood panels provide audial and visual privacy.