Archtober Building of the Day #21
Runner & Stone
285 Third Avenue
Karla Rothstein and her partner Sal Perry are Latent Productions. They, along with Baker Peter Endriss served up a very nice helping of both delicious snacks and spiffy new architecture on yesterday’s Archtober tour. With a full tour of enthusiasts and architects, Karla and Sal described their self-initiated process of design, development, and construction management. They first prototyped, then fabricated the puffy custom concrete blocks that evoke the sacks of flour waiting to become bread that are the design hallmark of the restaurant, Runner & Stone, in Brooklyn.
One thousand units were made, twenty at a time, in the basement with workers, some of them students, following the instruction graphic the architects prepared. It all had something of the air of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with an almost mystical unity of material (steel and concrete and bread) and the romance of fabrication. Ah how utopian!
The project includes a bakery, restaurant, and bar replete with locavore cred. Even the name is authentic: Runner & Stone refers to the existence of a mill in the 17th century that was near the site. In milling, the moving stone is called the runner. So the flour and the sand, each granulated for admixture, are equalized and each a metaphor for the other.
There was also a lot of steel, another building material receiving special attention and distribution throughout the project. The floor is cold rolled plate, with a foam interlayer, set on plywood, then waxed for residential use in the upper two apartment units. A radiant heating mat keeps it warm. The facade is oxidizing to a nice autumnal orange. Custom furniture blends more raw steel with reclaimed lumber from Brooklyn water tanks.
Much was made of the happy relationship of all the parties involved, leading me to conclude that the success is no longer lying dormant: a 2014 AIANY Design Award attests.
Along for the tour was budding food critic, and AIANY Exhibition Coordinator Katie Mullen:
As the team from Latent Productions described the building, head baker Peter Endriss and staff passed small plates including pickled vegetables with chopped egg, whitefish salad with sliced baguette, heirloom tomato soup, and sliced sausage with sauerkraut. Endriss, previously head baker at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, reserved one surprise for tour attendees returning from 285 3rd Avenue’s upper floors: his signature rye flour and toasted caraway brownies.