Leaving behind the hippie farmers market vibe in favor of greener pastures with a more modern aesthetic, Oakland, California's Juniper Ridge is becoming increasingly popular for their distinct scents and soaps that have been "wildcrafted" from plants and tree trimmings, and boiled down in a converted whiskey still. Last September we spoke with Juniper Ridge forager and distiller we spoke with Alli Darling, who gave readers a rundown on their production process. Now, New Yorkers will have a chance to see their operation in-person at the Juniper Ridge + Fellow Barber Pop-Up in Williamsburg. Designed and installed by SF-based architect Claudio Martonffy—a friend and former roommate of Juniper Ridge founder Hall Newbegin—the unique space aims to welcome longtime supporters while introducing newcomers to an assortment of products, archival visuals and an experiential scent booth dubbed the "transporter."
The humble space has served as a pop-up incubator since Fellow Barber opened up shop just off Williamsburg's main drag earlier this summer, during which time brands such as Victory Press and Malin + Goetz have held multiple month-long residencies. With Juniper Ridge already selling at Fellow Barber locations and F.S.C. Barber founder Sam Buffa's background as a former champion enduro motorcycle racer and avid outdoorsmen, the collaborative pop-up was a no-brainer. Now add the creative prowess of Claudio Martonffy Design and you've got a perfect storm of manly, outdoors-inspired, clean design.
A theme of continuity is noticeable throughout. "I wanted to abstract nature in the space in a subtle way, instead of being in-your-face with real graphic kinds of things," explains Martonffy, on the decision to use CNC-cut foam panels to serve as a backdrop for the shop. Mountains were an easy target. "It's on the bottle, on the sign outside and now abstracted on the walls inside." In addition to the landscape, a sharp eye will catch uniform design details in the custom furnishings as well. "Every panel in here is six inches wide, and that module is carried through from the desk to the stool to the [transporter] kiosk," he explains, regarding the modular design mentality he no doubt picked up from his years as a project architect at legendary firm Skidmore, Owings and Merill. While the modularity may stem from past work at SOM, the use of reclaimed materials and custom designed fixtures is evidence of Martonffy's particular creative direction.
The experiential center to the pop-up, the transporter kiosk—which packs flat for shipping once the show is over—will feature a rotating scent theme, changing each week of the three-month stint. Each scent will be tied to a specific western region where the plants were originally harvested. Top-tier, dimable LEDs make up the entire lighting system, which is aesthetically superior and extremely energy efficient. But to further enhance the unconventional fragrances, the kiosk is outfitted with two micro LED projectors playing vintage films about the corresponding region. For example, the Northwest Siskiyou backpacker's cologne will be accompanied by footage from Newbegin's childhood outings on Oregon's Mt. Hood. "It's a way to bring the outdoors in," said Martonffy, "giving [the space] that west coast character."
Running through the better part of December 2013, the Juniper Ridge Pop-Up at Brooklyn's Fellow Barber host a number of whiskey tastings, plant essence extraction demonstrations using the converted whiskey still and various other events. If you're in NYC stop by the opening party this evening at 6 PM or swing by to experience the transformative fragrances on your own time in the near future. For specific hours contact Fellow Barber.
Photos by Karen Day; lead images courtesy of Sabine Scheckel