Kinfolk by Berg Design Architecture

Located in the Wythe Avenue corridor in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kinfolk is in a neighbourhood composed of mostly low-rise industrial buildings which support local manufacturing.

Inside Kinfolk (Photo credit: Edward Caruso)

Kinfolk Studios is formed in 2008 by friends from New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, Japan. The concept of a “Kinfolk life” sprouted from their desire to create products and experiences they would imagine but couldn’t find to purchase.

As an organisation, Kinfolk is a creative collective that uses their space for various functions on top of the basic functions as coffee shop, bar and restaurant. The neighbouring site at 94 Wythe Avenue, on the other hand, is to become a multi-disciplinary event/performance space, bar and retail store. The existing building, a former mechanics garage, is a 75’ by  50’ brick structure with 20’ tall ceilings.

( Photo credit: Edward Caruso)

At the request of Kinfolk, the space is meant to look like it was designed by a “Pacific North West hippie Mathematician”. The bar area had to feel intimate on a slow night with only 30 to 40 people but still feel connected to the rear event space when the venue is filled to capacity with 150 people.

In the middle of the main space are three set pieces — two “geo – shells” and the bar canopy. The geo-shells are geodesic inspired sections of a dome and are clad in Douglas fir and Western red cedar to refer materially to the Pacific North West.

(Photo credit: Edward Caruso)

Removable panels were designed to fill out the openings in the shell and modulate the level of connection between the two spaces.