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SITU Studio & Brooklyn Museum

SITU STUDIO USES HI-MACS® IN BROOKLYN MUSEUM DESIGN CONCEPT

When the Brooklyn Museum needed concepts for its visitor lobby, the staff tapped SITU Studio, an architecture firm dedicated to exploring the intersection of research, design, and fabrication.

The project was part of the Bloomberg Connects Initiative, a program designed to enhance the visitor experience through cutting-edge technology and digital engagement.

THE PROBLEM

The museum's initiative included an app for visitors to ask questions in real time by communicating with a central help desk. The app transmitted a visitor's location within the exhibit, giving operators an idea of what information the visitor may need before they asked.

The innovative technology was helpful but quickly drained the guests' devices of power, making it difficult for them to interact with the new museum app. With minimal seating near outlets, guest sat on the lobby floor to access limited power sources along outer walls.

The lobby's structure also posed problems for the museum. The stationary help desk in the middle of the space caused circulation issues and confusion for guests during museum hours. The permanent, immobile furniture impeded flow during high-volume events including fundraisers, parties and film shoots.

The goal: design a space that could be reconfigured for different events and provide ample opportunities to charge mobile devices.

"It's hard to find more examples of these collections in other places with the same quality and affordability."



- Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, partner at SITU Studios

Brooklyn 2

THE SOLUTION

SITU Studio designed a concept that brought a customizable experience through reconfigurable benches. The furniture was made with HI-MACS® solid surface material and included a built -in power supply.

The adjustable, nesting benches were made in curved segments with wheels, allowing for easy repositioning during events. Each bench included power outlets with enough access for almost every seated guest.

Besides mobility and power, the benches were designed for durability and cleanliness.

"There are so many people coming through the lobby each day," said Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, partner at SITU Studios. "The components needed to hold up to serious traffic, and they needed to be easily cleaned."

SITU Studios designed the bench concept with HI-MACS® in Pebble Pearl from the Eden Plus Collection for its resilience and sanitary properties. The material offers strength similar to solid stone. Should scratches or scuff marks occur, the solid material can easily be resurfaced. The seamless, nonporous surface of the HI-MACS® product also prevents harmful bacteria and mold from building up in crevices, making it an ideal material for a high-traffic, public area.

Brooklyn

THE IDEAL COLOR CHOICE

The gray shade of Pebble Pearl is architectural and clean, perfect for the museum's bright lobby space. It is also the ideal color for molding.

"To create the benches, we had to heat up and shape the material using molds," Lukyanov-Cherny said. "Molding solid surface material causes it to stretch, which can lead to discoloration. When I think of LG Hausys, I think of great color palettes. Pebble Pearl was exactly the shade we wanted, and discoloration wasn't an issue."

The benches feature a three-dimensional tufted form, making them visually appealing.

"We wanted to give the material a different scale of texture," Lukyanov-Cherny said. "You typically see a more gradual form in solid surfaces. We hadn't seen a tufted pattern like this in other products. At SITU Studio, we're trying to push the limits of what can be done with solid surfaces."

The sculptural design of the benches extended the art from the exhibits into the functional pieces of the museum.

PRECISION AT THE RIGHT PRICE

For the SITU Studio team, quality came at the right price. The HI-MACS® line is less expensive than many solid surface materials but offers a high level of quality, making it a great value for users.

"I haven't seen this range of colors from other distributors for the same price," Lukyanov-Cherny said. "It's hard to find more examples of these collections in other places with the same quality and affordability."

FUTURE PLANS

SITU Studio will continue to turn to LG Hausys for its solid surface needs. The durability, cleanliness, affordability and range of color options offered by the HI-MACS® solid surface products make them the clear choice for SITU Studio's future projects.

"We'll definitely keep working with LG Hausys," Lukyanov-Cherny said. "The range of colors and affordability give us a freedom in our design process that we don't get with other companies."

The studio is also looking for ward to finding new uses for HI-MACS® solid surface materials.

"There's a lot more to discover," Lukyanov-Cherny said. "We're constantly looking at new forms and applications for solid surface beyond countertops. Designing the Brooklyn Museum concept was just the beginning."

Material: HIMACS Pebble Pearl®
Photography: ©John Muggenborg Photography
Architecture: SITU Studio