Stickbulb has opened its first ever showroom in NYC's burgeoning cultural hub of Long Island City. Designed by RUX Studios in a former historic steel factory, the showroom is part of a 10,000 square foot space that combines design, production and gallery all under one roof.
The building's industrial details, textured terracotta walls, and weathered wooden floors have been offset with the brand's sleek, modern LED fixtures, as well as its award-winning, grand-scale Ambassador sculpture. "It feels like the perfect home for a company that makes cutting edge light fixtures out of old wood salvaged from demolished buildings, fallen trees, and dismantled water towers," commented Stickbulb Co-Founder Christopher Beardsley.
Stickbulb's mission has always been to build with light and use sustainable materials, and that has extended to the design of its studio. "Everything has a past life," said RUX Studios Founder and Stickbulb Co-Founder Russell Greenberg. "Our coffee table is two giant heart pine beams salvaged from the Pullman Couch Company factory in Chicago. The step out to our garden is a stack of redwood offcuts from the Amex headquarters' water tower at 200 Vesey Street. And we use pieces of a telephone pole from Route 66 as a bench. All of this storied wood is our inventory, temporarily held as furniture in our showroom, on its way to becoming light as Stickbulbs."
From the street, one travels up a flight of industrial stairs and through a blackened factory door into an airy, bright, plant-filled gallery. Light floods through three large, square windows that look out over a metal scrapyard towards the Queensboro Bridge. Long theatrical curtains loosely carve the open plan into soft, intimate galleries.
Ambassador - a massive, illuminated archway crafted from 146 three-centuries-old redwood beams - greets visitors at the door. The sculpture, winner of Best in Show for NYCxDESIGN in 2017, acts like a hearth for the space, casting warm light over the entryway, lounge, and dining areas. The deep red and orange hues from Ambassador's redwood are accented by a custom-fitted, marmalade-colored carpet and a wall of 14-foot-tall burnt orange curtains that run from the entrance to a plant-filled garden at the heart of the space.
Behind these curtains hums RUX Studios: design firm, experimental lab, and factory space. Through breaks in the panels, visitors can glimpse Stickbulb fixtures being assembled, raw lumber being hauled, and hear the occasional rip of a bandsaw. The production area is filled with rolling racks neatly packed with maple, walnut, heart pine, redwood, and oak Stickbulbs in a wide variety of lengths and styles. This mobile wood library moves around the studio with the ebb and flow of production.
Stickbulb's newest collection, Bough, and last year's introduction, Boom, which recently received a Red Dot Design Award, are a few of the brand's signature fixtures on display in the showroom. The centerpiece for the office is the brand's most popular design, the Sky Bang, a cluster of which are suspended over a 24-foot-long dining table designed and fabricated in-house. This is where the team holds meetings, design discussions, and communal lunch on Wednesdays.
Photos: Courtesy of Stickbulb