Who is ready to quit their job and open up a wine shop in Greenwich Village? I see one hand, Carlo Orrico, a young maverick sommelier. To want to do something is one thing and then to make it happen at this caliber is another, especially during this economic climate. Carlo Orrico found an amazing location on Craigslist, a 600-sf retail space located next door to a Jonathan Adler boutique, quit his job, scouted the perfect architect, and began the design process of his dream store, a wine shop called Le Vigne.
MADLAB, an architect and design team based in NY & NJ, joined forces with the artist collective, SPURSE as they were challenged to “rethink the power of design” after Carlo’s original design vision took a hit when he realized the high price tag and long fabrication times associated with it. Now a trip to IKEA would have been the easy way out, but over a bottle of wine (of course) they came up with a turnkey solution that required the client to give up all creative control in exchange for a “fast, cheap, and ingenious outcome”.
What he got was 3 client meetings, 3 design drawings, and 3 weeks of installation. With the help of a friend the space was excavated to the original 1902 bones, revealing it’s painted plaster walls, brick fireplaces, hardwood floors, and tin ceilings. MADLAB & SPURSE left the space as is and immediately started bringing in truckloads of tools and thrift store furniture in which they radically repurposed in experimental and innovative ways bringing a whole new life and meaning to these familiar objects.
MADLAB says these massive assemblages of tables, drawers, lids, and legs are colliding like the tectonics of Italy’s complex geology-the same rich geo-morphological terroirs that produce the shop’s amazing artisanal wines. You navigate through these nooks and crannies of Le Vigne as you would through the wine regions of Italy.
Iain Kerr of Spurse describes the approach: “As we worked on the central table, we gradually stockpiled all the chairs, and remaining dressers and drawers, along every edge of the space. With a little tweaking we turned these piles into gleaming white stacks onto which wine bottles could be displayed in various arrangements”.
One thing this economic climate challenges you to do is work smarter with less costs. MADLAB and SPURSE tackled this challenge with ease and perfection, capturing Orrico’s passion for Italy’s eccentric vineyards, and allowing every customer to explore his collection in this innovative retail environment.