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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC

Complied by Team IAnD
Photography: Alex Ayer; courtesy Slade Architecture

Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC
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Finding home in a historical brick edifice in DUMBO, Slade Architecture chisels the iconic French chocolatier Valrhona’s US base in Brooklyn, NYC… 

Blending the sweet aroma and delicate flavours of gourmet Valrhona with the full-of-life essence of bustling Brooklyn, the architects have carved out a simple space out of a shoe factory that doubles up as the École du Grand Chocolat, a school for professional chefs with a focus on chocolate-based dishes and pastries; as well as a sales office for the brand. 

Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC
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mobile workstations at Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC
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Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC
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Ensuring that the aged building with its natural patina was first rendered food-safe, the architects have reinstated its historical character in tandem with the heritage of culinary excellence and the forward-thinking perspective of the chocolatier.

chefs at work at Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC
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chef at work at Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC
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Located centrally, immediately off the entry vestibule, the chocolaterie room – incidentally, the main activity area of the brand - is approached through the framed view of glass doors, with clear sight lines from the entire space. Simple, mobile workstations double up for class room and entertaining or marketing functions; whilst the floor plate is rendered clean with the power structures elevated into the ceiling.
 
Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC
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A starkly simple material palette is used to introduce new elements into the scenario viz. black plaster, stainless steel, white paint, blackboard paint highlights etc.  Such diligence judiciously emphasizes the highly functional nature of the space, impacting and tying the brand into its environs seamlessly without overwhelming the existing. 
 
Valrhona Chocolaterie in Brooklyn, NYC
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The understated ambience and feel of the space celebrates the sincerity and quality of one of the world’s finest gourmet chocolates and its preparation that is the true hero.

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