As we reported last year, the space that used to host the Brooklyn Night Bazaar was purchased by BMW. As details emerge about what BMW plans to do with the 23,000 square-foot warehouse, we’re beginning to think an automotive showroom would’ve been preferable. Reporters talked to the designer, Nate Pinsley, about the space and it sounds, well, just horrible. As DNA reports, its going to be called A/D/O — awkward shorthand for the already-pretentious Amalgamated Drawing Office — and it will be a “place for design professionals to work, develop and play.” Ugh. You just know there’s going to be skateboard racks. Gothamist has more:
In fact, the BMW-owned MINI is building a 23,000 square-foot restaurant / retail design store / co-working space that the company hopes will become a “hotbed for future ideas and innovation.”
It’s called Amalgamated Drawing Office, which is “an homage to the team that designed the first MINI,” according to Nate Pinsley, ADO’s managing director. The warehouse’s renovations are being designed by nARCHITECTS and ADO is scheduled to open late this summer.
On a recent tour of the construction site, located where Wythe becomes Norman Avenue at Banker Street, Pinsley told reporters that there won’t be any indication that a car company is running the show. “It’s part of our exploration of new products and services that improve urban life,” he said. “It’s a non-automotive space.”
The “world class” restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and sits next to a “free space” open to the public with tables and free Wi-Fi.
“Better than a coffee shop—like, but better,” Pinsley says.
The retail portion will sell “goods from a bunch of different categories with the particular curation of high caliber design,” Pinsley told us. We asked what this meant.
“There isn’t one answer to what design is, which is interesting to us,” he explained, noting that items will have different price tiers to reflect the “showstoppers” as well as “funky necessities.”
Three classrooms towards the back of the space will offer varying degrees of public workshops; the northeast corner will house a coworking space available to rent by the day, week, month, or year, complete with 3-D printers and laser cutters.
The northwest corner will house Urban-X, MINI’s “startup accelerator program” that it created in a partnership with a venture capital firm in January. Sorry, Urb-Ex kids, your hobby is now synonymous with “new ways to leverage existing frameworks in a meaningful way.” (Who’ll be the first to Instagram an illicit photo from the construction site?)
“It’s a source of innovative ideas and bringing together many different types of problem solvers and thinkers into one space,” Pinsley says. “We think that it will really be a catalyst for new ideas—things that happen within the walls of this building will have never been thought of before.”
We asked Pinsley if ADO wasn’t just another amenity for the million-dollar condos a few blocks away.
“This space is for the local community and one that has existed for a long time,” he replied, acknowledging that the Brooklyn Night Bazaar kiosks had become “beloved neighborhood institutions,” something ADO would attempt to emulate.