A Map of Manhattan

July 1, 2008

NEW YORK, NY - Corporate space planning and interior architecture firm MKDA has designed the brand-new GE Monogram® Design Center in New York City. Located on the 10th floor of the Architects and Designers Building at 150 East 58th Street, this is the first-ever New York City showroom profiling the GE Monogram® Collection, a comprehensive line of kitchen appliances produced by GE Consumer and Industrial.

"The Design Center, which features a variety of cooking demonstrations, product launches, informational seminars and industry-related events, is open to kitchen designers, architects and the general public, so it was important to create an exciting experience for visitors as well as a showroom backdrop that wouldn't compete with the sleek line of modern appliances," said MKDA President Michael Kleinberg. 

In a nod to the first New York City showroom for GE Monogram®, MKDA Project Architect Lon Skidds and Project Designer Edin Rudic created a host of Manhattan-inspired details throughout the center to create a sense of movement and to provide a dynamic environment for the complete line of appliances.

The design firm created a sleek terrazzo floor with a distinct Manhattan street-grid pattern, for example, that subtly leads visitors from the reception area to a series of kitchens and appliance vignettes. Each Manhattan street was poured in a cream terrazzo while each city block was poured in a dark chocolate brown terrazzo.

To balance this sleek terrazzo flooring, MKDA infused a number of warmer elements into the showroom space, including a wine and beverage vignette that displays GE Monogram's walk-in wine vault and various other signature appliances. The area features dark wood plank flooring, walnut framed chairs by Pucci upholstered in thick natural linen, and a glass top coffee table set on a cast iron base.

Upon entry, visitors are greeted with unique glass door panels cast in the pattern of GE's cook top grills. The entrance corridor features, on the left, panels upholstered in perforated suede and, on the right, a long stretch of dark wood panels that, in an unexpected twist, combine to form the appliance line's moniker, Monogram.

"The concept is to create an environment that's familiar and surprisingly original at the same time," says GE Monogram® Design Center Manager Paula Cecere. "We wanted to showcase Monogram appliances against a backdrop that beckons visitors to explore."

Overall, MKDA draped the showroom space in a color scheme that incorporated cream and chocolate brown highlighted with brushed steel and aqua blue accents. The window treatments, for example, consist of aqua-colored silk drapes layered on top of a metal mesh fabric-complementing the GE Monogram® stainless steel finishes-layered on top of sheer off-white drapes that allow for an inflow of natural light.

"Our overall vision with this project was to create a unique showroom space, which cohesively showcased the GE Monogram® product line, while also allowing the visitor to feel inspired by their creative surroundings. We were challenged, with the encouragement of GE, to observe the process of designing and to think from unexpected angles," said Rudic. "The final product is an incredibly inventive space that does much more than simply showcase appliances. It is similar to walking into someone's highly-stylized yet completely fluid and comfortable kitchen, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the showroom's own New York City."

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