Where do New York buildings go when they die at the hands of demolition companies? To the dump, to recycling centres, and – at least on a few recent occasions – to the workshops of young New York designers. That’s because Sawkill Lumber Co., a wood salvage company, organized 12×12, a competition that encouraged local designers to dream up new uses for waste construction material. The resulting furniture pieces are on view as part of the New York design week event WantedDesign.
Among the most inventive pieces on display is the Round & Round bench by Louis Lim. Made from pine boards reclaimed from a Bronx building that housed a hardware store, the curved bench is three-quarters of a circle; it features a drawer of the same length and curvature that, when slid open, fills the gap to close the gap.
Repurposing scaffolding that used to surround a public school in Queens, Uhuru created the classroom-worthy PS17 desk. Fiyel Levent designed the Vice Cabinet – a bar cabinet pockmarked with circular patterns, constructed with red spruce pulled out of Mars Bar, an old East Village dive. Karl Zahn created handsome trunks with pine from a building that was torn down to make way for a stadium that will be the future home of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team. And the firm Bellboy made the Water Tower chair, an impressively organic looking lounge chair made with redwood planks that used to be – what else – a Park Avenue water tower.
All of the pieces are up for auction through May 25 at www.12x12nyc.com, with proceeds going to Brooklyn Woods, a non-profit wood shop job-training program.