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Open> Cafe
Birdbath at the New Museum by Uhuru
Courtesy Uhuru

New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, New York
Tel: 212-219-1222
Designer: Uhuru

The New Museum has a new cafe. With 40 seats, this latest location of the City Bakery’s neighborhood-oriented Birdbath business strives for sustainability in both locally-grown, organic fare and green furniture design. Commissioned from Brooklyn-based design collective Uhuru, the new stools and tables offer a raw yet refined aesthetic that adds warmth to the museum’s otherwise spare ground-floor lobby. Stools are crafted from scraps of hardwood collected from local wood shops, with the New Museum’s SANAA-designed profile whimsically embedded into the top of each puzzle-like cylinder. According to Uhuru co-founder Jason Horvath, that playful touch resulted when a piece of wood used in a prototype by chance resembled the building-block forms of the structure. Sleek white tables are made from high-percentage, post-consumer recycled steel and aluminum, and finished with a zero-VOC powder coat. Elegant Leaf Chairs come from eco-conscious Italian manufacturer Arper, and a Brooklyn-made IceStone countertop consists of 100 percent recycled glass and cement. The green motif even extends beyond the decor: As at other Birdbath locations, the cafe offers a 25 percent discount to customers arriving in emissions-free style by bicycle or skateboard.

Alyssa Nordhauser