museum

INSPIRED BY: VITRA CAMPUS

Rolf Fehlbaum is the son of Willi and Erika Fehlbaum who founded Vitra, a company who began producing Eames chairs in 1957 when Rolf was only a teenager. 

Now, taking charge of the company, Rolf has crossed new boundaries bringing together such diverse inventory has that included Mies van der Rohe, Noguchi, Aalto, Corbusier and Lloyd Wright's Peacock chair. Before long Fehlbaum had gathered enough pieces to open his own museum near Tüllinger Mountain in Germany, which is now one of the largest collections of furniture on the globe.

Currently though Rolf has moved into collections of a much larger scale, specifically that of architecture, for the Vitra Campus. In a recent article from Cereal Magazine we see a look into this very diverse design playground which is summed up quite well with this quote from the author.

"Vitra’s stake in 21st century design is such that the shape it takes affects they way our homes and our workplaces look, and how the products we buy are made. In this wonderland curated by Erika and Willi’s eldest, drawing visitors in from near and far, design is a game played with deadly seriousness."

Photos from Cereal Magazine.

Crafting The Whitney Floors | Part 3

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Kelly Crow notes that the design of art museums has traditionally fallen within two camps: classicism or stark modernity.

Historically, collectors encouraged museums to create spaces that resembled cultural temples, with classical columns and ornate crown moulding to match the significance of the objects on display. In recent decades, many museums and galleries favored an architecture of stark white-cube rooms with walls treated in sleek, modern finishes...
[Yet] when the Whitney began considering designs more than a decade ago, Adam Weinberg, the director, said he asked architects for the exact opposite.

Ms. Crow goes on to describe how the new Whitney Museum of American Art is a museum, 'designed to wow artists as much as audiences.' In her piece on the new Renzo Piano designed museum, Crow outlines Mr. Piano's intentions for the Whitney to be a new kind of museum - one that invites curators and artists alike to be flexible, innovative, even playful:

'...the 84-year-old [Whitney] museum is changing far more than its address...
The new building’s nearly 50,000 square feet of gallery floors will be made of neither trendy concrete nor lavish marble. Instead, Whitney officials chose reclaimed Heart Pine from former area factories, so artists could hammer nails into it or tear up small sections if needed. (The museum has a cache of extra planks in case anyone does.)
A lattice-like grid on the ceiling of the main gallery means artists won’t have to cut through drywall to suspend their work. That 18,200-square-foot room has no columns, making it the largest museum gallery in New York City with uninterrupted views.”

Donna De Salvo, the museum's chief curator, told ABC News that, 'artists will be inspired by the new spaces and will "reinvent them over and over again." They're tailored to the needs of how artists — and curators — work, she said. Floors throughout are sprung, allowing for both performance and installations. Open-grid ceilings permit walls and art to be arranged into multitude configurations.'

In crafting the over 50,000 square feet of Reclaimed Heart Pine flooring for the new Whitney Museum, The Hudson Company is honored to be a part of this landmark of innovative, contextual, and culturally-significant architecture.

The industrial history of the Reclaimed Heart Pine floors (sourced from decommissioned American factories) supports the Whitney’s mission to create a space that Director Weinberg calls, 'rough and ready' artist’s canvas.  The nature and dimensions of the Reclaimed Heart Pine flooring, along with it's intentionally flexible profile, allows for the floors, like so much at the new Whitney, to be modified to best fit the needs of the museum, artists, and audiences using the space. 

Click for more details about The Hudson Company Reclaimed Heart Pine [Chalk Finish] flooring featured throughout the new Whitney Museum of American Art.

Click to learn more about The Hudson Company + Whitney Museum Design Installation.

Click to watch the new Hudson Company Video.

Detail of Reclaimed Heart Pine [Chalk Finish] installed at new Whitney site.

Detail of Reclaimed Heart Pine [Chalk Finish] installed at new Whitney site.

Floor during install.

Floor during install.

Floor Install, NYC Skyline in the background.

Floor Install, NYC Skyline in the background.

Flooring Install, during finishing.

Flooring Install, during finishing.

Whitney floor, during install.

Whitney floor, during install.

All Installation Photos by Martin Hyers of Gentyl&Hyers Photography for The Hudson Company. Cover photo by Max Touhey for ny.curbed.com.

Crafting The Whitney Floors | Part 2

Writing for The New York Times on April 19, Michael Kimmelman described the new Whitney Museum of American Art this way:

'There’s a generosity to the architecture, a sense of art connecting with the city and vice versa...
Inside, irregularly weathered pine floors recycled from old factories temper a language of concrete and steel. Those same industrial materials break up the mass of the building on the outside, by turns refracting and absorbing sunlight, nudging upward, gently, the scale of a swiftly growing neighborhood.'

The story behind these 'irregularly weathered pine floors recycled from old factories' is, in fact, a rather remarkable one - the journey of rough, antique, and landfill-bound timbers carefully re-imagined and re-engineered as the flooring for New York City's newest architectural landmark.

Custom Milling The Whitney Floors

After reclaiming the raw timber materials from inactive American factories (Phillip Morris, Maidenform, Paul G. Mehlin & Sons Piano Company), The Hudson Company embarked on the fully-integrated, custom milling process, in collaboration with Cooper Robertson and The Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the museum's lead architects. 

The final Whitney installation exceeds 65,000 square feet of Reclaimed Heart Pine [Chalk Finish] flooring throughout all of the galleries and administrative offices.  In order to deliver the final product, The Hudson Company custom milled over 270,000 board feet of reclaimed timbers. These sizeable timbers ranged in size from 4” x 17” x 22’ to 11” x 17” x 24’, some weighing in excess of 1,200 pounds.

Once the raw material arrived at our Pine Plains, NY facility, metal detectors were used to locate old fasteners (nails, bolts, screws) embedded within the timbers, and then all unwanted debris is removed by hand.

Next, utilizing our 75 HP fully hydraulic 6” double edge blade saw mill, we milled the timbers into manageable dimensions (1.75" x 10" x 8-20').  Because the Whitney floor was uniquely designed to be 1.5” x 8,” we oversized the the flooring planks to 1.75” x 10" and then kiln dried each plank to 165 degrees Fahrenheit eliminating any remaining insect life and setting the pitch for stability and proper finishing.

From here, the Whitney floors went through the remaining steps of The Hudson Company's hands-on, custom milling process: the planks were re-graded, planed, ripped, molded, and checked for defects and unwanted irregularities before delivery.

Click for more information about The Hudson Company, our team, and for galleries of our reclaimed and custom-milled flooring installation projects.

Click to watch The Hudson Company sourcing and milling video.

Inside The Hudson Company's Pine Plains, NY Mill.

Inside The Hudson Company's Pine Plains, NY Mill.

Milling reclaimed material, Pine Plains, NY.

Milling reclaimed material, Pine Plains, NY.

De-nailing the reclaimed industrial timbers at the Pine Plains, NY Mill.

De-nailing the reclaimed industrial timbers at the Pine Plains, NY Mill.

Milling reclaimed material, Pine Plains, NY.

Milling reclaimed material, Pine Plains, NY.

Reclaimed Heart Pine [Chalk Finish] planks on site at the new Whitney Museum, ready for Install.

Reclaimed Heart Pine [Chalk Finish] planks on site at the new Whitney Museum, ready for Install.