It has to be daunting to design showrooms for Herman Miller , the Michigan-based furniture giant often cited as the inventor of the modern office.
But Vincent Bandy came with some impressive credentials of his own. For one, he was a veteran of Rem Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Furthermore, Vincent Bandy Architect’s portfolio already included Vitra’s highly regarded showroom in New York.
Bandy’s latest Herman Miller project, also in New York, is in the same 1909 office building where Maharam, the fabric manufacturer now owned by Herman Miller, occupies the triplex penthouse. His assignment has consisted, so far, of levels two through five, 30,000 square feet dedicated to showrooms for the parent company and another acquisition, Design Within Reach. On the ground level, he’s due to complete Herman Miller’s first permanent retail store in North America this fall. (On five, Geiger International occupies a space outfitted by a different firm, BassamFellows.)
Herman Miller executive creative director Ben Watson was previously at Moroso, and that’s how he met Bandy, then working on OMA and REX’s Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas. The pair’s collaboration on the theater seats launched an ongoing professional relationship. After Watson moved to Herman Miller, he engaged Bandy to design showrooms in Washington and Dallas.
Compared to those projects, New York presented greater challenges, among them the building itself—mostly vacant for decades and seriously out of date. The brief was to create a cohesive envelope for all five levels while still providing individual identities for each. Roughly speaking, the showroom on two highlights home design, the one above concentrates on contract clients, and DWR shares the next one up with the company-wide “brand design” studio, a kind of lab for the in-house creative team. Vertical access had to be easy, since there’s a strong connection between Miller’s residential and commercial aesthetic, a look that honors the enduring influence of mid-century pioneers including Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Alexander Girard while celebrating contemporary talents.
Senior interior designer Stephen Floyd was in charge of the furnishings, either manufactured or repped by Miller. “Besides displaying the furniture, lighting, and rugs, our Living Office guidelines dictated a variety of functional stations for the people who actually work here,” Floyd says.
Explore our pinterest boards for more inspirations about the amazing New York City and also about NYC’s events, arts and even design world.
Source: Interior Design