Selldorf Architects’ polished sensibilities shine through at a new beer hall and gourmet food stand by the founders of Brooklyn’s popular Smorgasburg. “We brought the same level of crispness and clarity of a museum or gallery to the beer hall,” said Sara Lopergolo, a partner at Selldorf. “The most important thing is clarifying spaces—organizing the space logically for its uses.”
Inside Berg’n, muscular wooden tables form neat rows that eschew the borough’s typical obsession with 19th century nostalgia. In its place, the refined modern tables draw inspiration from artist Donald Judd and lend a geometric weight that grounds the space. “The knee-jerk reaction is to use an off-the-shelf beer hall table that looks like what you might see in Germany,” said Lopergolo. Around the perimeter, neat bays covered in stainless steel house purveyors of BBQ, artisanal pizza, and ramen burgers. Below, a polished concrete floor contrasts the texture of the hall’s low-slung wood joist ceiling.
Decaying for years, the old industrial building required significant structural rebuilding, including a new facade. Working within a tight budget, Selldorf added new garage doors set within deep steel reveals that open the inside to the street. “We made a consistent rhythm across the facade to tie together the brick and the industrial history of the building,” said Lopergolo.
Next to the beer hall, where the adjacent Selldorf-designed 1000 Dean creative office building connects, blue bistro tables fill a bright white-painted courtyard carved from the original building.