Interior Design - WalkthroughFOR (MALIN + GOETZ), A NEW BRAND
of products for skin and hair, natural is the name of the game with respect to both ingredients and aesthetics, explains cofounder Andrew Goetz: "We don't use dyes or perfumes. Everything is exposed, honest, and candid." That means cleansers based on amino acids and moisturizers infused with botanical extracts, all sold in no-fuss white bottles marked only by pristine lettering colorcoded according to use.
The combination must be working, as [Malin + Goetz) has already become a hit at such high-end destinations as Barneys New York and Fred Segal in Los Angeles. Not bad for two relative neophytes: In a previous life, Goetz worked as the marketing director for Vitra's U.S. operation; cofounder Matthew Malin served as vice president of wholesale at Kiehl's.
For the company's first freestanding retail location, MaI.in and Goetz charged Konyk Architecture with concocting a simpatico solution-an avant-garde boutique-cum-office in the tradition of a French apothecary, simultaneousl.y luxurious and workaday. "A place where two chemists could be found mixing potions and lotions," says Mali.
Konyk's plan placed the program's retail component in a sleek white box floating inside the 600-square-foot Chelsea storefront's exposed-brick shell. "Initially I thought, No way," Goetz says of Konyk's scheme, which narrowed the already skinny space by up to 4 feet in some areas. "But Craig persuaded me to think outside the box."
The architect began by substi- tuting a poured-concrete floor for the existing oak planks laid over concrete-a process that added a bit of drama to the construc- tion schedule. During excavation, he admits, "We hit the subway! To gain 18 inches of street-front exposure, he installed new planes of laminated glass in the alu- minum facade and jettisoned an existing roll-up gate.
While Konyk had his heart set on seamless Corian for his white box, the projects $60,000 budget all but eliminated any possibility of using the relatively costly solid surfacing. Then, on a whim, Goetz called manufacturer DuPont, of- offering an opportunity to showcase the material in an experimental way. His efforts-and DuPont's generosity-resulted in enough product to outfit the space, gratis.
Completely free of sanding or scoring, the Corian enclosure glides right up to the boutique's facade. "Like a fish sucking on the glass," says Goetz. Display shelving and a cash-wrap shelf integrate smoothly into the walls of the white box.
Behind it, a pivoting panel of expanded PVC doubles as a backdrop for abstract murals or graphics as well as a screen for the rear office. This "lab," as Malin and Goetz call it, is where they experiment with ideas and brainstorm products from the comfort of polypropylene side chairs by Mario Beilini and Alu- minum Group task seating by Charles and Ray Eames.
The industrial painted-steel shelving is the same as that found at the Park Avenue South office of Maharam-noticed by Goetz when he was paying a visit to textiles maestro Michael Ma- haram, a close friend. A similarly industrial succession of vertical fluorescent tubes, spaced at 4-foot intervals, marches down a side- wall in the (Mali + Goetz) lab. Fluorescent-lit Lumasite acrylic wraps a restroom in the corner.
While supporting professional efforts for (MaLin + Goetz), the entire space is also a perfect stage for frequent personal din- ner parties, mixing neighborhood friends and members of the de- sign and cosmetics worlds. The Corian cash-wrap shelf moon- lights as a bar.