Aric Chen -- Interior Design, 9/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
Questioned by a visiting client about the price of the 1930's glass vases arranged on shelving behind his desk, Bruce Bierman responded that they weren't for sale. "Then she asked me, 'But why are they here?'" recalls Bruce Bierman Design's affable principal, who was forced to remind the client: "Because it's my office!"
All 2,500 square feet of it, spanning the length of a building in the Flatiron District. At the front are Bierman's office and the conference room. Divided by a full-height folding screen, the two can be joined for large presentations. "You also get the maximum sense of space," he says, "which is something I always encourage my clients to do, too."
From the principal's office and conference room, sight lines extend straight to the rear studio. Bierman's architectural training—first revealed by the folding screen—again becomes clear, this time with the regularly spaced beams dramatically articulated by floodlights.
Wool carpet tempers the studio's whiteness. Elsewhere, flooring of Brazilian cherry wood maintains the marked unfussiness of the overall sensibility. With Bierman, though, "neutral" should never, ever be confused with boring.
Clockwise from top right: Interior Design Hall of Fame member Bruce Bierman in the Flatiron District. The principal's own office and the adjacent conference room share Mario Bellini's leather-covered Cab chairs, Brazilian cherry-wood flooring, and a window wall. In the studio, presentation trays encourage designers to investigate new materials samples. Bierman displays 1930's glass vases behind his desk, actually a custom table topped in plastic laminate. A frosted-acrylic folding screen separates his office from the conference room.
Clockwise from top left: For presentations, Bierman can seat eight by pushing his desk together with the identical conference table. Ceramic vases sit near a French 1920's chair in reception. His 17 employees occupy the wool-carpeted studio. Sight lines extend through a 30-foot-long hallway with a sisal runner.
GUEST CHAIRS (OFFICE, CONFERENCE ROOM): CASSINA. FLOORING: NORWEGIAN WOOD (INSTALLATION); STANLEYCO (STAINING). CUSTOM FOLDING SCREEN, TABLES (OFFICE, CONFERENCE ROOM), CUSTOM TRAYS, CABINETRY (STUDIO): JWA FURNITURE. TASK CHAIRS (OFFICE, STUDIO): HERMAN MILLER. DRAWER PULLS (CONFERENCE ROOM, STUDIO): RAJACK DESIGNS. VASES (RECEPTION): CALVIN KLEIN HOME; MODNATURE. CARPET (STUDIO), RUNNER (HALLWAY): STARK CARPET CORPORATION. WINDOWS: G.A. WINDOWS. RECESSED CEILING FIXTURES: NULUX. PLASTIC LAMINATE: FORMICA. LIGHTING CONSULTANT: GARY GORDON LIGHTING. PAINT CONSULTANT: DONALD KAUFMAN COLOR. GENERAL CONTRACTOR: LMCC.