A few months back our longtime friend and very talented photographer, Matt Furman reached out to us about a new space being designed and built in the historic South Street Seaport district. We always love any opportunity to work with the Matt, and who doesn’t love New York’s seedy Seaport history, so we instantly had a meeting on the calendar to hear more. Flash forward a couple weeks where we came to learn about The Seaport Studio - a new retail concept store being developed by Howard Hughes Corporation to be designed and built right here by the super talented Guild, right out of Brooklyn’s Gowanus warehouse district. It is going to be one of Howard Hughes’s main highlights in the rebirth of the South Street Seaport historic district's renovation project after most of the area was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2013. We knew that with our architectural experience and cinematographic skills we could make an amazing video on the neighborhood’s new anchor piece. And we would get to shoot some more cool stuff again with Matt so of course we jumped at the opportunity. You can check out the video here to get an inside look at all the work that went into making the new Seaport Studios a reality.
So time for a quick history lesson. The South Street Seaport “features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, and includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city.” During Hurricane Sandy, the whole neighborhood saw their entire ground levels get flooded, so pretty much everything had to go including the bankrupt businesses. Yeah, pretty terrible. This is after the entire neighborhood has seen two almost complete urban revitalizations that were both ultimate failures usually focusing on hokey suburban style malls and tourist. The new plan for redesigning South Street Seaport was to revitalize these historic structures for future generations, while preserving the richness of its past in an effort to create an exciting reinvigorated neighborhoods for locals to play, live, and work in. One of these buildings was the Seaport Studio; designed to be a two level, retail event space with an open floor plan, the Seaport Studio created a space that is highly adaptable, making it a perfect environment for retail, promotional events, and art installations.
The Studio’s design was inspired by the Seaport’s maritime history, but was created to be a forward thinking, dynamic environment for up-and-coming designers and artists to showcase and sell their work. To see how all this would come together, we got to hang out at Guild’s workshop and film their designers while they worked on the plans for remodeling the interior of the Studio. We usually get this sort of access on every shoot, but this scenario was unique in that Guild is a design/build company, meaning they do all of their fabrication in-house. Their office is essentially a giant fabrication shop from metalwork, to wood, to print, you name it, they build it. Design and production all under one roof!
Getting inside the shop was a great opportunity to film the sparks flying and capture the metal and wood craftsman's creating the sculptural interior pieces of the building. Guild designed the space to be a young, poppy, contemporary canvas constantly in flux for showcasing art and fashion. The Studio has the chance to be a new voice in the future of fashion, art, and design thanks to all the new designers that will soon be rolling through to show off their work in the studio. The revitalizing of Seaport Studios will help to bring the story of Seaport history back to the forefront and propel it into the future of fashion and culture.
The opportunity to produce a video on this comprehensive design process and to then capture it all coming together, really helped to create a cohesive narrative and made it a unique opportunity for us as well. The video ends with the epic kick off party of the Studio which is a testament to the buzz it created during its construction, and the impact it will have on New York City going forward.
Cameras: Blackmagic Production Cameras, Canon C100s