203 Grand Street, Brooklyn
Williamsburg’s celebrated fashion scene is about to bring home a new honor for the neighborhood: the first LEED certification for a renovated commercial space in Brooklyn. Bird, an award-winning clothing boutique that opened in February at 203 Grand Street, approached its third branch in sustainable style. Designed by Norwegian architect Ole Sondresen, the 2,500-square-foot retail space takes up an entire city block, formerly occupied by a bakery. The design concept is driven by a holistic approach, said Sondresen: “We thought about the way it would sound, smell, and feel as much as what it would look like.” The space features polished concrete floors, exposed brick walls, and high ceilings with industrial skylights, which make the most of natural light with the help of visors that reflect the daylight back into the store. The many green strategies have delivered impressive results: a reduced carbon footprint (6,800 pounds of carbon dioxide eliminated each year); increased energy efficiency (7,800 kilowatt hours saved per year); and water conservation (6,000 gallons less per year than a similar store). Sondresen follows the precepts of locavor—a movement that advocates for locally sourced lifestyles—and this is reflected in every detail of the store: the hard pine was salvaged from a demolition site in Manhattan and the lighting fixtures were fabricated in Brooklyn, while trades like welding and milling also took place in the borough, helping put Bird on track to be New York’s first LEED-certified clothing store.