Reclaimed Lumber From New York Landmarks Turn out to be Heirloom-High quality Furnishings at Bien Hecho


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When John Randall opened his bespoke woodshop, Bien Hecho, within the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2006, he didn’t notice that his furnishings and millwork—each bit handcrafted from specialty or reclaimed timber—would turn into design fixtures in a few of the metropolis’s trendy hospitality institutions. “Our bread and butter has at all times been customized woodwork and dealing with contractors, with standalone items bought primarily by the hospitality trade,” says Randall, who counts architect Shigeru Ban, design agency Love Is Sufficient, and clothier John Varvatos as a few of his studio’s purchasers.

However COVID put a special spin on issues. As the worldwide pandemic took a localized toll and demand from the hospitality and industrial sectors thinned, Randall noticed a shift within the market towards house items. Requests for residential furnishings dovetailed with Randall’s aspiration for Bien Hecho to have an e-commerce technique. “It’s one thing I’ve been eager to do for a very long time,” he tells AD PRO. “I needed to make it slightly simpler for individuals to buy these items.” This spring, the as soon as by-commission wooden studio launched a group of furnishings and equipment on its on-line store

John Randall constructing the Watertower dispenser, made from reclaimed pine salvaged from New York water towers.

Photograph: James Wade Images

Although searching for furnishings on-line might not supply the complete essence of a chunk, Bien Hecho’s designs inform tales far past the attention can see. The store’s traditional faculty desk, for example, is made utilizing reclaimed Ipe wooden that was salvaged from the Coney Island boardwalk following superstorm Sandy. The credenza is created from Baltic birch, together with a Sinker Cypress species that was hauled out of bayous within the South. 

One other of Randall’s favourite woods, a strong teak, was sourced from the unique deck of the USS North Carolina, a historic battleship constructed on-site on the Navy Yard in 1937 and later decommissioned in Texas. “That was actually a enjoyable one to work with as a result of the wooden made its means again to the Navy Yard and was labored on as soon as extra right into a product that folks might personal,” Randall explains. 

Inside Bien Hecho’s woodshop on the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Photograph: James Wade Images

But even sourcing sustainability had its share of difficulties amid the pandemic. “It’s been a bit difficult as a result of we had been used to calling up suppliers and getting the wooden the very subsequent day,” says Randall. Like many trade producers, Bien Hecho has needed to incorporate the newfound delays into its manufacturing schedule.

The credenza, which comes obtainable in a lumber sustainably sourced from the American South

Photograph courtesy Bien Hecho

The net store’s debut consists of eight merchandise—some new, others ingrained in Bien Hecho’s customized repertoire. Due to the way in which he works, Randall says new designs might be repeatedly added to the product roster—simply don’t count on the studio to abide by any seasonal launch schedule. 

“For me, it’s extra concerning the alternative because it presents itself. As I get phrase about some attention-grabbing wooden—or if a demolition firm calls me and says this constructing is coming down—I’ll hop on my bike and have a look,” says Randall. “If it appears good to me, I’ll work out how you can get it, and what to do with it.”

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