The Microsoft Loft

The Factory NYC provided custom architectural wooden forms, integrated lighting, and installation for Microsoft’s flagship retail store in New York City.

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The Microsoft Loft is a creative space located on the seventh floor of Microsoft’s flagship NYC retail store at 677 Fifth Avenue. The concept envisioned by Purepartner aimed to create a functional and transformational multi-use event and meeting space in line with Microsoft’s mission.

The Factory NYC was brought into the project to provide the massive plywood sculptural forms that serve as elegant furnishings for the company’s products and visitors.

Case Study Q&A: Jonathan Epstein, General Manager

Q: How did you work with the client to ensure the furniture followed the concept?

A: We worked with the client’s designer who made the form and sent it to us as a 3D-modeled mesh. It took our team a few weeks to manipulate and slice the form to ensure it was workable and could be cut on our CNC. In the end, we were grateful for the opportunity to work with everyone involved and so happy with the result of our collaboration.

Q: Did you encounter any technical challenges with the making of the integrated lighting of the sculpture/TV stand, desk, or bench?

A: For the TV stand and desk there was an engineering challenge of using two-inch thick sculpted acrylic to hold the weight of the wood and maintain the form while having a consistent glow. Our team worked diligently to test and ensure these elements would work efficiently and effectively. For the bench, we had to make sure it could withstand a certain amount of weight. The challenge was to find the balance between strength and weight, so we calculated pounds per square foot before milling, and sure enough it stood strong.

Crafting the Plywood Forms

Each of the forms were manufactured at The Factory NYC in Brooklyn, NY. The project team resolved the forms using CAD and used the in-house CNC routing and machining to create the rough form. The pieces were then assembled and then sanded, integrating custom lighting into each of the forms.

Q: What was the assembly and installation process like?

A: The assembly included the forms sliced based on an average thickness of 30 sheets of baltic birch. Each slice was sequenced and milled in batches to keep a steady workflow. Keeping track and having thousands of parts around can turn into a giant jigsaw puzzle very quickly,  so we made custom jigs to glue slices into chunks, and then different sets of jigs were used so parts could be assembled into the finished piece.  

The building loft did not have an elevator. So all of the pieces were engineered in sections, and hand-carried up the fire escape. About 300 sheet of 3/4″ thick baltic birch were used, and the entrance piece itself weighs over 3200 pounds. It was a lot of work, but I believe all parties involved were very pleased with the result.

The sculptural forms were designed to invite tactile exploration, encouraging hands-on interaction within the space. This intentional design choice complements the loft’s role as an experiential hub for guests.

Read more about the project at Purepartner.