Alessi’s flagship store in New York's SoHo neighborhood got a facelift this year, reopening earlier this month after a refurbishment by Hani Rashid of Long Island City, N.Y.–based Asymptote Architecture. Rashid is no stranger to the space on Greene Street, having designed the store the first time, when it opened in 2006. Many elements—including the ribbons of cove lighting that rise from the floor and span the ceiling, as well as the bulk of the shelving for the 3,500 products on display—remain the same, but the main display counter and the blue wall graphics were updated to freshen the space in time for this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
As part of the reopening celebration, the store is playing host to “Metal Workshop: Cranbrook for Alessi” an exhibition featuring the results of a 2009 workshop between the Italian design house and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The workshop—which was codirected by Cranbrook’s 3D designer-in-residence, Scott Klinker, and metalsmithing artist-in-residence, Iris Eichenberg—combined handcrafted materials exploration with digital design tools. Four designs from that collaboration are now in production and will be released later this year.