The opportunity for carte blanche design doesn’t come often, so we created it. First, with the launch of our furniture brand Ot/tra by Zimmerman Workshop in 2016, and then with the architecture and interior design of our Brooklyn flagship in 2020.
Zimmerman Workshop was established in 2010, and with Ot/tra over the past four years, has grown to a point where we needed a long-term home where we could share not only our furniture but also our capabilities as an architecture firm. In September of 2019, we stepped into an old paper warehouse in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. We immediately visualized a grand staircase that would connect the showroom and studio upstairs with the shop downstairs. It was our carte blanche moment—and an opportunity challenge us to really think big, as an architecture firm, and as a furniture company.
The lease was signed, the work began, and of course with the shutdown, it stopped for several months! It was easily our greatest challenge for both companies, and despite the circumstances, we were unwilling to give in. The team worked tirelessly and carefully, and on September 23, the last glass railing went in. Full disclosure: the upstairs showroom is still on its way to completion, but we are excited to share this part of the project in the meantime.