Brazilian Fashion House PatBO Goes for Color in Flatiron Office
The showroom-workplace combination also uses scaffolding to separate different parts
When young Brazilian fashion brand PatBO decided to build a new showroom and office in the Flatiron District, founder Patricia Bonacelli opted to hire the architects at BoND to bring her vision of Brazilian modernism to life.
PatBO’s clothes are bright, floral and tropical, and the designers wanted to combine that aesthetic with the warmth of Brazilian midcentury modernists like landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. The 7,000-square-foot space at 126 Fifth Avenue started out as an open, early 20th century loft, and the architects had to figure out how to carve up the space without creating lightless internal rooms.
There are some individual rooms, such as a few executive offices and small meeting rooms, along with a separate showroom for potential buyers. But much of the space is divided by pieces of floor-to-ceiling scaffolding, which has been spray-painted pink. The scaffolding functions as shelving, and there are racks of colorful clothes hung from the railings too.
“It’s a pretty cheap material instead of building shelving,” said Daniel Rauchwerger, a principal at BoND. “With something as simple as just painting them pink, you turn them into something that’s feminine and fresh.”
On one side of the scaffolding is a reception area, with a curved, light wood desk where the right-hand side has been painted a shiny gold. A curved, off-white couch, several dark green plants, and a hoop-shaped, pink hanging light fixture round out the welcome area. On the opposite side of the scaffolding is an open workspace with light wood tables for the company’s marketing team. There’s also a long, communal table outfitted with vintage midcentury Danish chairs that can be used for meetings or group meals.
The scaffolding also forms a small open area, complete with a curtained changing room, where influencers can model clothes on another curved couch. The hanging clothes on the scaffolding help act as a visual barrier between the different parts of the office.
The buyer’s showroom includes light wooden walls with thin fins, a seating area with low, modernist yellow armchairs designed by Juliana Vasconcellos, and a green, abstract rug inspired by Burle Marx’s landscapes. There’s also a small kitchen and separate bathroom for the showroom, which hosts potential buyers from big retail chains and models wearing PatBO’s clothing.
Construction started last December and finished in February, just in time for Fashion Week.
Other features of the space include an open kitchen with a long, light wood bar topped by a pink countertop, and a wall of wood-paneled lockers for employees. The architects also had to figure out creative ways to store extra clothes throughout the space.
“We built this back-of-house kitchenette and it has a long banquette that has a lid that opens, and you have a bunch of storage in there,” said Rauchwerger. “There’s an entire changing room where we managed to fit a couple more square feet of storage.” And, by the showroom, “this entire wall is all mirror so you would never think there’s a room behind it” with tubs full of couture.
Rebecca Baird-Remba can be reached at email@example.com.