BASE Design NY

After losing their long time Soho offices, edgy branding and marketing firm BASE Design tasked Meshberg Group to repurpose a landmarked building in downtown NYC into their new Manhattan creative headquarters. We were given a narrow set of deliverables – on time, on budget, on point – and while many projects start with this same end goal, our team had three months and only $100,000 to make it happen.

The new BASE Design HQ was to be located in a historic Colonial Dutch Revival building straddling landmarked colonial South William and Stone Streets, two of the oldest streets in the city. With picturesque stepped gables and striking red brick trimmed in white, the building is a standout in the Financial District. Our assignment was to transform the second and third floor duplex space of the townhouse, a hodge-podge apartment of small rooms and a gutted storage space respectively, into a modern creative studio and event space. Always passionate about adaptive reuse, we wanted the space to feel contemporary and edgy set inside a historical shell.

Within that context, we worked with BASE to design their new home around a program centered on an entry and exhibition space for gallery openings, events and a “shrine” to display work for clients such as MOMA and NASA, two conference rooms, and an open modern studio space. We brought the space back to its framework, incorporating the original masonry, windows, beams and millwork including two working fireplaces, into the final design. With its history literally on display, we kept the space as clean and minimal as possible, serving as a neutral yet energetic backdrop to the creative product and people that are BASE Design. Due to the long, narrow, interior footprint of the building, we used a bright palette of white and Pantone lime green paint, clear glass, and bleached wood to reflect as much light into the spaces as possible.

Upon entering the ground floor, matte black painted stairs lead to the second floor entry. Immediately the soaring 17’ ceilings, exposed brick and bleached white oak floors of the multi-purpose entry, exhibition and event space set the creative tone. It’s illuminated by gallery style lighting, which accentuates milled steel shelves displaying past design work. A custom white lacquer bar complete with beer tap serves double duty for the many parties the company hosts and as a kitchenette for staff. The large frameless glass conference room in the front of space features angled Baltic Birch plywood walls and original wood-burning fireplace. At the other end, a second glass enclosed conference room overlooks historic Stone Street.

Continuing upstairs, the third floor unfurls into an open studio concept with white painted brick, exposed rafters and pops of Pantone lime green paint that accent the media shelves climbing the walls, an extension of the exposed beam concept. A lime kissed recessed printer station was cut out of an old closet, while clear glass allows light in from the enclosed rear workshop.

Juxtaposing the historic and the modern, we worked closely with BASE to thoughtfully bring to life a dynamic multi-purpose space reflective of both their brand and its practical needs. With flexible public spaces and private work areas where staff can come together as groups or work autonomously as needed, Chateau BASE was born.

Address 13 South Williams Street, New York, NY

Awards International Property Awards - Office Design, Americas, New York

Photographer Garret Rowland