"I think most people find there's something unique or special here," said Mary Lovci, the VP of Duggal Global Events, as she walked me through the The Duggal Greenhouse late last week.
Oh yes. Located along the East River in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the multi-level light-soaked space is barely a year old and has already hosted two of the world's biggest pop stars (Lady Gaga and Beyonce), a Nike-sponsored basketball tournament and a Heineken launch party. And on February 8, the massive, 30,000-square-foot venue will set the stage for another major event, the first-ever outer borough New York Fashion Week runway show. As WWD first reported in January, Alexander Wang is bringing his Fall 2014 collection to Brooklyn.
"[Alexander Wang] reached out to us," said Lovci. "They had heard about our space and thought it would be a unique fit for what they're doing. I'm delighted they were able to identify with it."
Before Baldev Duggal spotted its potential, the Greenhouse was reportedly an unused, asbestos-ridden industrial warehouse; today, it's a flagship property for the Duggal Global Events Group, a consultancy with a focus in energy and sustainability. (The company's high-end printing facility is located nearby.)
With a private waterfront veranda lined with wind- and solar-powered off-grid Lumi•Solair streetlights (another Duggal creation) and sweeping Williamsburg bridge views, the venue offers the city's two greatest luxuries: expansive outdoor space and seclusion.
Some blogs were amused to learn that Alexander Wang included step-by-step driving directions to the greenhouse on his show invitation — "Alexander Wang Knows You Can’t Get to Brooklyn," ran a headline on The Cut on Monday — but the venue is simply not very accessible, no matter how much time you've spent in Brooklyn. The Duggal Greenhouse is a 20-minute walk away from the nearest subway station (York Street) and the Brooklyn Navy Yard is partially restricted to visitors. I was asked to show my ID to security guards at the perimeter; I then received a temporary permission slip which I later had to return upon exiting the shipyard.
Guests have the option of arriving at The Duggal Greenhouse by yacht or boat. Lovci told me that hosts will often organize transportation by water-taxi or ferry for events, and said that Alexander Wang will do the same. We reached out to the label to confirm but have not yet heard back.
The interior, with views on Manhattan
Solar powered LumiSolair lights
The Williamsburg Bridge
Raise high the roofbeam
All images by Nika Mavrody