Posted in news on January 5, 2017 10:08 am EST

Brooklyn Common Space Gets Free-Flowing Design

Issues of power access and circulation congestion resolved with design aid from local Situ Studio.

Brooklyn Museum lobby; design by Situ Studios, images ©John Muggenborg Photography.











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TAGS: gathering space, materials, power, seating, sustainability, technology,


By Church Designer Staff

When the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, N.Y., needed concepts for its visitor lobby, the staff tapped local Situ Studio in a project with direct application to church projects, their lobbies and gathering spaces. Situ Studio is an architecture firm dedicated to exploring the intersection of research, design and fabrication.

The Brooklyn Museum project was part of the Bloomberg Connects Initiative, a program designed to enhance the visitor experience through cutting-edge technology and digital engagement.

Problems meet solutions

The museum's initiative included an app for visitors to ask questions in real time by communicating with a central help desk. The app transmitted a visitor's location within the exhibit, giving operators an idea of what information the visitor may need before they asked.

The innovative technology was helpful but quickly drained the guests' devices of power, making it difficult for them to interact with the new museum app. With minimal seating near outlets, guests sat on the lobby floor to access limited power sources along outer walls.

The lobby's structure also posed problems for the museum. The stationary help desk in the middle of the space caused circulation issues and confusion for guests during museum hours. The permanent, immobile furniture impeded flow during high-volume events including fundraisers, parties and film shoots.

The goal: design a space that could be reconfigured for different events and provide ample opportunities to charge mobile devices.

Situ Studio designed a concept that brought a customizable experience through reconfigurable benches. The furniture was made with HI-MACS, from LG Hausys, a solid surface material and included a built-in power supply.

Situ Studio designed custom benches that deliver mobility and a source of power for guests' devices.

The adjustable, nesting benches were made in curved segments with wheels, allowing for easy repositioning during events. Each bench included power outlets with enough access for almost every seated guest.

Besides mobility and power, the benches were designed for durability and cleanliness.

"There are so many people coming through the lobby each day," says Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, partner at Situ Studios. "The components needed to hold up to serious traffic, and they needed to be easily cleaned."

Situ Studios designed the bench concept with HI-MACS in Pebble Pearl from the Eden Plus Collection for its resilience and sanitary properties. The material reportedly offers strength similar to solid stone. If scratches or scuff marks occur, the solid material can easily be resurfaced. The seamless, nonporous surface of the HI-MACS product also prevents harmful bacteria and mold from building up in crevices, making it an ideal material for a high-traffic, public area, according to Situ Studio representatives.

Color choice & cost

The gray shade of Pebble Pearl is architectural and clean, ideal for the museum's bright lobby space, its designers report. It is also an ideal color for molding.  continued >>