Madera was founded with a clear objective: to offer high quality, beautiful and sustainable wood products for architecture and design, while having a positive impact on the environment and the local economy. By practicing a forest-to-floors approach and creating a direct link between clients and the source of the wood, carefully sourcing materials from sustainable sources, designing products in-house in their Brooklyn studio and manufacturing them locally in New York, they offer an alternative that is high quality, sustainable, and locally made.
In their recent expansion, Madera took over a turn of the century warehouse space just outside the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Clinton Hill. The existing structure was incredibly run down, but had the good bones and charm they desired. The design focused on maintaining the authentic character and detailing of the existing space while creating a boutique, almost “non-commercial” program and aesthetic throughout. The idea in many ways was to make the space a gallery for wood, rather than a sales floor. To that end, the simple use of natural sky lighting, highlighting the existing structure, and a subtle, yet powerful use of Madera’s own wood as a cladding material succeeds in making a modern space with much of the authenticity intact.
Programmatically, the design also challenges the traditional showroom experience. The office space is raised and out of view of the showroom floor, the space has an in-house wood shop for quick sampling, and the product is displayed in a minimalist (think Donald Judd) way. Upon entering the showroom one comes upon an art gallery within a repurposed industrial icebox named Cooler Gallery. The gallery serves to activate the space with a monthly exhibition and opening, but also to tie the Madera showroom to the surrounding eclectic and vibrant community.