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Re-Ply
Specifications
  • Location
    88 Madison Ave, New York
  • Start Date
    June 1, 2020
  • Services
    Architecture, Interiors, Ventures
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Architecture, Interiors, Ventures

Re-Ply

Walking the empty streets in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protest, the BVN New York team pondered the future of the city, and the days and weeks ahead.

They were in the thick of an historic moment.

Shopfronts were masked with plywood barricades that had been hurriedly installed to protect them from the unrest. Artists lingered, treating the city as a canvas for cultural commentary. And citysiders stayed inside, seeking safety.

Moved by the moment, the team looked for a creative step forward for the city. A way to help.

Armed with expertise in recycled materials, and in nimble, flexible design, they quickly seized on an idea. A solution to encourage New Yorkers to re-emerge and engage with the city. To rebuild a sense of community and connection with neighbourhoods. And to repurpose the plywood, saving it from landfill, and preserving the artistic expression on its surfaces.

And so re-ply was born. A design for pop-up, al fresco dining, in the form of a "kit of parts". Simple to assemble, and easy to adapt. Entirely made of the plywood collected from across the city.

Two weeks later, the team had formulated a design, an e:commerce site, and a first client. Two years later, it's still booming.

Re-Ply Story Video
Repurposing a moment

re-ply hasn’t just been a good little project. It’s become a huge success. It's gone bi-coastal by partnering with another firm. And has a waiting list in both New York and San Francisco.

We're developing off shoots. And forging a blueprint for architecture that responds in real time to real moments. Ablaze with ideas and initiatives that recycle waste into architecture and design.

These past two years BVN has become not just an architecture firm but an incubator for big ideas, fast action and real environmental change.

Installed Not Constructed

With re-ply the team invented a stylish, cost-effective and recycled ‘kit-of-parts’ for outdoor dining, to help NYC’s cherished restaurants, cafés and bars to safely reopen. Other opportunities have emerged too – the Chelsea Flower Show; Rockefeller Ice Rink Pop-Up; the Meatpacking District Outdoor Dining Festival.

Structure Installation
A contagious idea

A year on and re-ply continues to populate the city with almost 30 installations. It’s spreading out to Miami and California and Vail. And soon - London and Sydney. The designs are evolving and expanding every week now incorporating pop-up retail, co-working spaces and even glamping cabins.

Modular design

Common to both re-ply and other BVN projects are elements of modular and kit-of-parts design which enable easy use of recycled materials and circular economy systems.

re-ply showcases BVN's interest in fast-evolving architecture that changes in response to social and cultural shifts.

Impact

21

Built Projects

450ft

Linear feet of Enclosed Structures

500+

Plywood Sheets Recycled

200+

2x4 Lengths Recycled (40mm x 90mm)

New evolutions for NYC in 2022

Next on the horizon: a collaboration with American Institute of Architects and friends, to help define a new and permanent design framework, for al fresco dining in New York.

What re-ply opened up for the city was not just new hospitality spaces, but other ways of thinking about how the city could emerge from lockdown with a more flexible approach.

BVN New York is now working with the Alfresco NYC coalition, the NYCxDESIGN Design Corps, Design Advocates, AIA through a series of workshops. These will culminate in the New York City Open Restaurants program.

An ongoing evolution

Re-ply continues evolve daily as we find new uses for recycled materials through novel digital fabrication techniques. Every day brings us one step closer to design that really can help save the planet.

Credits

BVN
Bill Dowzer, Nick Flutter, Nikita Notowidigdo, Benita Chen
Collaborators

Schnieder Eliassant, Nicholas Shannon, Michael Souter

David Burgess, Vaughn Lane, Deepcuts Fabrication, Thirdkind Studio, Live Edge Brooklyn, Theresa Rivera Design, The Commission Project, AIA New York, Department of City Planning (NYC), Department of Transportation (NYC)

Collaborators

Schnieder Eliassant, Nicholas Shannon, Michael Souter

David Burgess, Vaughn Lane, Deepcuts Fabrication, Thirdkind Studio, Live Edge Brooklyn, Theresa Rivera Design, The Commission Project, AIA New York, Department of City Planning (NYC), Department of Transportation (NYC)

Photography

Roman Ernesto,
Sebastian Lucrecio,
Liz Lignon

Video

90 Seconds.

Awards

IDEA Award Overall Winner (2022)
IDEA Award International Design (2022)
IDEA Award Sustainabilty - Highly Commended (2022)
INSIDE World Festival of Interiors 'Temporary, Meanwhile Uses' winner (2021)

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