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    Buckminster Fuller and NASA mathematician inform New York retail fitout by Berg Design Architecture

    Nathan Johnson

    Inside a multidisciplinary design hub in Williamsburg, New York sits a geodesic structure of timber boards and tessellating frames, forming the perfect base for a new bar and event space for hipsters.

    Designed by Berg Design Architecture (BDA) for multinational design team Kinfolk, “Kinfolk 94” is the second addition to the organisation’s Brooklyn store which was already a one-stop coffee shop, lounge, restaurant, and design studio.

    The new Kinfolk 94 extension houses a bar and art gallery that can double as an event space under a bird’s nest-like geodome. The dome itself comprises plywood, douglas fir, and western red cedar panels and its shape is inspired by Kinfolk founder Ryan Carney’s past obsession with mathematics. Carney was formerly employed by NASA as a mathematician and requested that BDA use the geodesic design model discovered by Buckminster Fuller.

    The problem was that a perfect geodesic sphere relies on a completely rounded and enclosed finish meaning that by taking away parts, as was done with the ceiling of this dome, BDA risked the whole thing collapsing.  

    BDA thus opted for a modified version which instead obtains its strength from laminated plywood ribs and strategically placed shelving. The dome has been designed to feel intimate to 30 to 40 people on a slow night, but also hold 150 and still feel connected.

    The dome also serves as a partition for the Kinfolk warehouse, separating the new bar space from the old store which can still be seen from the streetfront and is now sporting a pretty impressive timber egg as a backdrop.

    Photography by Edward Caruso Photography.

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