RBW transforms former IBM building into RBW Factory
On Monday, Oct. 31, award-winning, independent lighting design and manufacturing company RBW celebrated the grand opening of RBW Factory, their new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Kingston, New York. RBW has spent the last year breathing new life into what was once the famous IBM call center, which shuttered its doors in the 1980s. The 100,000 square-foot space gives RBW the ability to employ a holistic approach to manufacturing and consolidate operations in one facility, while tapping into the tradition of innovation and creativity in Upstate New York.
RBW looked to architect Neil Logan and Kingston-based Dutton Architecture to re-envision the building, which combines all working spaces under one roof, from design and manufacturing to traditional open bench desking and break-out spaces to promote collaboration. The building’s new design emphasizes its natural surroundings, spotlighting a connection to light and air throughout while maintaining a minimal ecological footprint by repurposing the existing structure.
The space includes 16 glass skylights, energy-efficient LED lighting, daylight harvesting, dimming controls for energy efficiency, and the use of collaborative robotics. The interior of RBW Factory is outfitted with a curated assortment of pieces from notable brands Artifort, Artek, Fritz Hansen, and Knoll. Throughout the space, Logan custom-designed fabricated tables, desks, and case pieces for the conference rooms, collaborative work areas, and gathering spaces. His designs are finished in solid maple with a white Corian top to seamlessly blend into the factory’s architecture.
More details in the press release below:
RBW Expands to Kingston With RBW Factory, the Company’s New Headquarters for Manufacturing and Innovation
RBW, the independent lighting design and manufacturing brand, is pleased to announce the opening of RBW Factory, its new headquarters for manufacturing and innovation. The 100,000-square-foot facility in Kingston, New York, will now be the space where RBW’s collection of luminaires is designed, manufactured, and fulfilled while also acting as a hub for togetherness and collaboration.
RBW’s move of its headquarters marks a new chapter of growth for the company in its 13th year. While RBW continues to maintain its showroom at 50 Greene St in SoHo, the expansion to a larger New York State footprint gives it the ability to employ a holistic approach to manufacturing and consolidate operations in one facility, while tapping into the tradition of innovation and creativity in Upstate New York. The doors officially opened on October 31, 2022.
“The new RBW Factory provides the opportunity to implement our complete vision for the brand and increase our scale for innovation of product, process, and service,” said RBW Partner and Director of Growth, Alex Williams. “We’ve long been inspired by some of Europe’s most visionary manufacturing campuses that reflect a thoughtful and holistic approach to planning a company’s footprint. The new facility will create a space where our operations, our people, and the brand can flourish.” RBW Factory will combine all working spaces under one roof, from design and manufacturing to traditional open bench desking and break-out spaces, promoting collaboration in ideal settings.
The location of the new RBW headquarters was an important decision, and Kingston fit the criteria, ranging from its proximity to New York City and the brand’s showroom in SoHo, to having a larger space that fosters creativity and collaboration, to reinforcement of RBW’s commitment to a sustainable future and its B-Corp status. Kingston, a creative capital on the rise, promotes a high quality of life for their people with a myriad of outdoor excursions, a vibrant food culture, and endless options for cultural immersion nearby. “Kingston’s history of traditional manufacturing provides a fertile foundation for the innovation-driven industry, which made it an immediate fit for RBW’s new chapter,” said RBW Partner and Director of Innovation, Theo Richardson.
RBW looked to architect Neil Logan and Kingston-based Dutton Architecture to re-envision the building, which was once a part of the prominent IBM campus, a major driver of the technological sector and employment in the town from the 1950s to the 1990s. The building’s new design emphasizes its natural surroundings, spotlighting a connection to light and air throughout while maintaining a minimal ecological footprint by repurposing an existing structure. The space also includes 16 glass skylights, energy-efficient LED lighting, daylight harvesting, and dimming controls for energy efficiency.
Designed by architect Neil Logan, the interior of RBW Factory is outfitted with a curated assortment of pieces from notable brands Artifort, Artek, Fritz Hansen, and Knoll. Throughout the space, Logan custom-designed fabricated tables, desks, and case pieces for the conference rooms, collaborative work areas, and gathering spaces. His designs are finished in solid maple with a white Corian top to seamlessly blend into the factory’s architecture.
To strengthen its position as a design and manufacturing industry innovator, one of RBW’s strategic initiatives is to implement a data-driven Industry 4.0 manufacturing enterprise. As part of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability/Research i4.0 pilot program for New York manufacturers, RBW will be expanding their key capabilities through digital floor automation, strategy and governance, workforce learning and development, and enterprise intelligence. These i4.0 standards will attract top talent and make way for RBW to become a leader in automation and data exchange in manufacturing, including collaborative robots, cloud and cognitive computing, and creating the future of smart factories.
RBW is looking forward to growing into its new headquarters for innovation and creativity in Kingston. “We’re placing innovation at the forefront of all our projects and letting that mindset lead us,” said RBW Managing Partner Charles Brill. “Whether that’s honoring our B Corp commitment and making a positive impact on the planet and our community, or establishing a state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 factory floor, we plan to be on the frontier of it all”.
For more information on the RBW factory, please visit https://rbw.com/rbw-factory
As an award-winning, independent design and manufacturing company, RBW is an American brand for a higher quality of light. By listening closely to the needs of customers, RBW’s forward-thinking, technology-driven approach invents lighting solutions that are out of the ordinary—products that take on unprecedented shapes, or make subtle upgrades on familiar forms. Each collection embodies a distinct personality while upholding the hallmarks of RBW’s family DNA: Intuitive ease and simplicity. Integrity of craft and material. High-quality lighting with a playful point of view. As a Certified B Corp, RBW’s goal is to expand their status as a leader in the lighting design industry, and make a positive impact on both the planet and community by upholding the highest standards in social and environmental accountability. Meticulously engineered for a broad range of applications, RBW lighting has been installed all over the world, from the renowned Noma restaurant in Copenhagen to Fortune 500 company offices across the United States. Thoroughly invested in customer success, RBW prides itself on providing excellent service, delivering quickly and reliably, while product specialists faithfully remain on call. For more information, visit: www.rbw.com