Leonel Ponce

Fabrica 718 Transforms Retro School Desks into a Bar for Veronica People’s Club in Brooklyn

by , 04/21/11
filed under: Architecture,Brooklyn
veronica peoples club, fabrica 718, greenpoint, refurbished design, school desks, bar, heather millstone, booth, bench, interior

© Leonel Lima Ponce for Inhabitat

Doors and full-height windows at VPC use small scrap pieces of translucent glass, procured by Heather from construction waste. A metal and wood frame built from scraps gives the impression of another rare antique, and the translucent glass lets light in and creates an aura of mystique via ghostly passers-by. To tie the space together, corrugated aluminum siding is painted white and attached to acoustic ceiling panels, forming a continuous ceiling surfaces that doubles as a light reflector during the day. In conjunction with low-wattage, task lighting fixtures, the panels drastically reduce energy usage in the bar. A fluorescent light sculpture reminiscent of Dan Flavin’s work provides the only storefront signage, and helps illuminate the interior at night.

The physical elements of Veronica People’s Club exemplify the collaborative ingenuity behind the space’s mission and its creators. Both Heather and Julie believe in the power of working together for a common goal, and of taking unwanted, wasted materials and synthesizing them into something completely fresh and unexpected. The partnership started at Millstone’s East Village bar Heather’s, and continued on to a renovation of the artist’s apartment. At this stage, these two women can almost read each others’ minds. With the team’s emphasis on refurbished materials, product design, playfulness, and the creation of the unexpected, an aesthetic may not be apparent until late in the process. That’s where communication and intuition come in. “Julie is an amazing interpreter of the messes in my brain,” says Heather, “she allows me to express myself.”

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