Curiosity cabinet: New York’s Atelier Courbet reveals remodel in time for spring
When Melanie Courbet opened Atelier Courbet back in 2013, she created an outpost in New York’s Nolita neighborhood for high-end design and craft objects. She divided the historic storefront into two main spaces: on one side a boutique for design collectibles; on the other, a gallery, where she is able to showcase a rotating cast of artisans and designers, including Bassam Fellows, Buaisou, and Thierry Dreyfus.
Despite the establishment’s relative infancy, Courbet undertook a remodeling of the space in February, which completed with a revamped interior this month. To do this, she turned to real estate developer and historic preservation impresario Ross Morgan, the principal behind the firm Little Red House that owns the building that houses Atelier Courbet.
Morgan set out to preserve the space with avid attention to historical veracity, restoring the details of what used to be a 19th century coach-making workshop. He integrated these historically preserved elements with pieces designed by the practitioners that Courbet represents, such as cabinetmaker Adam Rogozinski. As Courbet says, ‘The layout and design is meant to create the feel of a curiosity cabinet, where clients come to find rare story pieces.’ Interspersed in these cabinets and shelves are pieces from the workshops that Courbet represents, including Nymphenburg sculptures, glassware from Lobmeyr and lighting by the young New York designer Anna Karlin.
To mark the reopening, Courbet has put together an exhibition of Mario Milana chairs in the adjacent gallery. The chairs he designs – geometric structures made with metal and leather – make reference to the Memphis movement that developed during the 1980s in Milana’s native Italy. For this particular collection, Milana moved away from black industrial metal frames and developed a custom cast brass collection.