Just beyond the Midtown Tunnel, the 25,000-square-foot BAS warehouse and showroom is far from gritty. A cubist mural in candy-colored hues pops on the building’s exterior. Inside, the matte black walls echo the experience of walking through an art gallery’s large-scale sculpture retrospective. At any given time, there are approximately 8,000 slabs on the floor, with a constant rotation of unusual new shipments.
For now, BAS mainly supplies, though they have flirted with fabrication—something they hint they’d like to do more of in the future. And why not, when experiments like a cocktail table in swirling Cipollino Ondulato Rosso for a Hamptons project with AD100 designer Kelly Behun turned out so memorably?
“Natural stone trends follow fashion,” says Beata. “The moment you start to see emerald or purple in the fashion industry, you definitely notice that in interiors as well.” One such example is a luscious green slab patterned in a way that evokes camouflage, a quartzite from Northern Brazil called Avocatus, which visitors at BAS photographed and tagged on Instagram, but no one was daring enough to purchase—until green raged down the runways one season, and the stone was suddenly in high demand.
While typically designers and their clients arrive at an appointment with a palette or mood board in hand, it is often abandoned as soon as they develop an instant emotional connection to a slab. AD100 designer Monique Gibson would know. “I encourage my clients to go through the rows and rows of slabs and without limiting their imaginations,” she says.
A Tribeca project by Gibson featured in AD’s February issue is grounded by honed Copacabana stone in the kitchen. Despite being suspended thousands of feet in the air in a busy city, the stone roots the project in the natural world; the slabs’ cream veins look like tributaries that can be traced from the home’s river views and beyond. “Even when a client is certain they want a white stone for their kitchen, it often happens that we come away from BAS with something much more interesting,” says Gibson.