For the first time in its 25-year history, AKDO has brought its global stone, tile and mosaic collections together in one flagship showroom. Spanning 2 floors and10,000 square feet, the showroom resides at 22 West 21st Street in Manhattan’s design-rich Flatiron District. The New York showroom opening marks AKDO’s first foray from its roots in product design and development, manufacturing and distribution into a distinctive, branded retail environment.
Serving both design professionals and design-loving homeowners, the space has an airy and cool interior. The main level of the showroom serves as an inspiration area, with custom offerings, exclusive artisan lines, newest products and mosaic panels on display. Strikingly different in design from most tile showrooms, AKDO features a clean, open and inviting aesthetic with a contemporary European feel, forgoing the usual ‘lifestyle props’ such as sinks and tubs for a sleek backdrop of matte white floors, walls and millwork. This sets the tone of a blank canvas on which a beautiful array of tile invites a closer look and beckons touch.
A notable distinction of AKDO’s offerings is that all of the products are created to complement and harmonize with each other. Since the products and collections in the showroom are exclusively AKDO’s own, when looking across the showroom, guests will immediately see a cohesive story of collections that can be used to design their entire interior. This makes the specification process simple and very flexible.
The continuity among products combined with the showroom’s clean design create a sophisticated, gallery-like effect. Adding to the drama are two mammoth, one-of-a-kind framed mosaic panels that are riveting at a remarkable size of 10 by 12 feet. Each mosaic piece or tessera has been cut and placed by hand, blending colors and materials to create works of art. This painstaking process goes back centuries in Turkey, where AKDO’s artisans create these master works. One is an art deco mosaic of natural marble, mirror and metal. The other is based on Turkish Iznik folk art patterns from antiquity commonly used on ceramics, adapted here into a huge ‘carpet’ of glass mosaic in bright blues and greens.
A walk through the showroom reveals more unique finds. Two intricate custom art mosaics are on display, one adapted from a Chinoiserie wallpaper from antiquity and another with the feel of an old-masters still life of flowers. Both are meticulously crafted from using thousands of pieces in dozens of colors of natural stone.
True to a company ethos of unparalleled customer service that has driven the firm for its first 25 years as a manufacturer, importer and distributor of luxury tile, AKDO has built the showroom to accommodate its guests’ every need. On the lower level, AKDO has built generous workspaces to facilitate the design process. A large conference room is a great place for designers and their clients to meet and discuss plans. Adjacent is an inspiration and resource library composed of the full range of AKDO’s architectural product binders, shelter and design trade magazines, architecture and design books and monographs. Several worktables are available on each floor, along with charging stations, an espresso bar and two magnificent bathrooms that double as life sized, working design vignettes.
The showroom at 22 West 21st Street is open to the public and the design trade Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 5:30pm and Saturdays 10 am until 4 pm.