Arhaus Furniture – Long Island, NY

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History

Arhaus Furniture is a national luxury furniture retailer dedicated to the design of inspired and quality furniture. The company, celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2016, is committed to protecting the earth’s resources by developing unique yet functional pieces from recycled natural resources. “We recycle copper into tabletops, harvest tree roots and transform them into chairs. We find forgotten antiques and give them new life,” according to the company’s website. It is no surprise, therefore, that when they set out to find their latest sales campus in Roslyn, New York, they would set their sights on what others might see as an unusual property for a high-end retailer. The property selected for redevelopment was home to a 1930s car dealership and an adjacent automotive service station; a far cry from the upscale lifestyle centers where the retailer’s other seven stand-alone showrooms reside. Nonetheless, Arhaus CEO and founder John Reed had a vision. “This is an attractive location for us,” Reed said. “Not only is the property the perfect location for us in the area, but the original building is rich in history. We want to preserve some of this to enhance the overall customer experience.” As for that rich history, the main building on the property had already been repurposed many times. In fact, the 11,300-square-foot structure was originally an early 20th-century airplane hangar that was moved brick by brick to the 15 Port Washington Blvd. property and used to build a showroom and service center for the Lincoln Mercury franchise called Port Motors. Highlighting the historical character of the structure would be central to the successful transformation of the space into the showroom for Arhaus’ lifestyle vignettes. Moreover, connecting and integrating the former automotive car service station into a newly attached orangery to merchandise, the retailer’s outdoor furnishings would demand the implementation of innovative design strategies.

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Before: The 11,300-square-foot aircraft hangar turned car dealership (left) and automobile service station (right) before undergoing the transformation.

Challenge

• Convert a 1930s aircraft hangar turned car dealership and nearby automotive service station into a luxury retail furniture showroom for Arhaus Furniture’s Roslyn, New York, sales campus.

• Transform and connect the disparate structures by creating a truly unique skylight that matched the architect’s requirements for the historic building without the advantage of previously engineered templates.

• Fabricate a hybrid structural ridge and pyramid skylight system to comply with the extreme angles and tight tolerances of the existing roofline.

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Due to the complexity of joining the units, Wasco’s engineering and project management teams performed a full mock-up on the floor to ensure all pieces were fabricated to the tight tolerances.

Solution

To transform the main building, award-winning RDL Architects added a second-floor mezzanine level, new slate roof, monumental staircase, reclaimed barn flooring, elevator and custom daylight harvesting system. Additionally, the building was updated to meet all current energy codes, including the removal of the old oil tank heating system and the addition of efficient natural gas boilers.

The outdoor patio features custom wrought iron fencing, decorative patio pavers, an Italian fountain and accent lighting, modeled after an English garden. A new covered porte cochere serves to connect the two buildings and allows for covered drop-off and pedestrian communication between buildings.

To recast the nearby former service station into an English observatory-style outdoor furniture gallery, the architects worked closely with skylight contractor Ken Shaw from Wilson-Shaw, the Wasco project management team, and the engineering team at Wasco Skylights. Together, they were able to design, engineer, build and install a custom 64’ × 10’ roofing system that includes a special extended pyramid skylight straddling a structural ridge skylight. Ultimately, this roofing reconfiguration was the key to turning the aesthetically unappetizing gas station into a natural daylight-infused observatory-style furniture gallery.

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Wasco’s Custom Extended Pyramid Skylight helps bring light and design integrity to Arhaus' 20,000-square-foot luxury furniture showroom in Roslyn, New York.
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RDL Architects

For residential, senior living, retail, mixed-use development and office, RDL Architects offers a unique, experienced and fresh approach to every architectural design project to bring you new possibilities, potential sources of income and stunning, thoughtful architectural styles.