arts-culture

The Roof Deck at Bell Works: Open to the Public

The naysayers may already be complaining that summer is practically over, but at Bell Works, the season of sun is just getting started. The recent Red, White & BOOM – the third annual metroburb fireworks display — was just the beginning of the fun ways to take advantage of the hot summer weather at the metroburb.

And while we all know that the views inside Bell Works are inspiring, and with that soaring glass ceiling it can sometimes feel like you’re outdoors, the roof deck offers a true al fresco experience. The roof deck brings the iconic space to a new level (literally) and adds a sleek signature element to the building design. Overlooking Zen Lake and with a birds eye view of the surrounding campus, the roof deck is another unique amenity available exclusively at Bell Works—and it’s not just a place to grab a moment to sit quietly (although we totally recommend doing that, too).

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The roof deck at Bell Works - leveling up an already iconic space - is open daily for lunching, meeting and just relaxing. Designed and styled by our Creative Team at NPZ Style + Dècor.

Since it’s open to the public, the deck is a true community space, providing unique gathering areas for anyone visiting the Works— think book clubs, Mommy ‘n’ Me playdates, anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind place to meet, mingle or make some small talk. Pack a picnic and grab a table for lunch with friends (even better, don’t pack anything and pick up lunch at Bell Market, The Hummus & Pita Co. or Estrella Azul, just a couple of the grab-n-go restaurants here).

On summer days, sitting at a desk inside can seem stifling, and even grossly unfair. Studies have shown (Seriously. Here’s the link if your boss doesn’t believe you) that to be satisfied and productive at work, you need changes in air, temperature, and scenery. Luckily for you, that kind of meaningful stimulation is easily accessible at the roof deck. So, office workers — onsite, offsite, work from home — bring your laptop to the deck, stay connected via WiFi, and take important calls while you also take in the view.

Whether you’re seeking privacy, a place for an al-fresco meeting, or just need to soak up the sun for a couple of minutes, the roof deck offers plenty of options. Catch up on the morning’s email at an umbrella-covered table, relax with a coffee taking in the view, or play a quick game of cornhole — whatever kind of escape you are looking for, the Bell Works roof deck provides it.

Bell Works, Holmdel, NJ

Whether you’re seeking privacy, a place for an al-fresco meeting, or just need to soak up the sun for a couple of minutes, the roof deck offers plenty of options.

And if you’re wanting to add some “workout” to your work, join our monthly “Fitness with the Works.” Usually held indoors, this fitness event headed outside to the deck first at our Summer Solstice summer kickoff party on Thurs., June 20 with NYC dance choreographer Tootsie Olan and then again on Wed., July 24 for a complimentary class with The Bar Method, located here in the metroburb.

Or if relaxing is more your scene, come for lunch and stay for happy hour at Sol Bar, a new pop-up bar serving alcohol, soft drinks, and food. Sol Bar is open on the roof deck from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Aug. 15. Owned by Anthony and Melissa Imperiale, who also run Bell Works' restaurants, Estrella Azul and Mezza Luna, the bar is part of the Bell Works’ "Summer with the Works" happy hour series. Sol Bar is offering seasonal fare —think burgers, hot dogs, pasta salad and watermelon salad — and drinks like beer, hard seltzer, wine, sangria and margaritas.

The nice weather is finally here! Take advantage of it as long — and as often — as you can. From fitness and fireworks to happy hours and live music, the roof deck at Bell Works is where to celebrate summer.

Is Bell Works Open to the Public? Yes, Come for a Walk Around the Block

Holmdel resident Peter Pessutti is a Bell Works regular. You’ll find him at Honeybell Bakery for coffee every Tuesday. And at the Holmdel Library & Learning Center checking out a couple of books. He might even do some laps with his wife Cheri, whom you may have seen getting her steps in for the day by walking the atrium.

“It’s such a great addition to the whole community, bringing this downtown concept, which Holmdel never had, bringing it to life,” Peter added. “The shops, the restaurants, the library, it’s just a fantastic resource for the community.”


Bell Works“It’s just a fantastic resource for the community. It’s a town center, which is wonderful.” - Bell Works regular, Peter Pessutti

The serendipity of a city under one roof

Peter and Cheri love the food and the library and the downtown feel, and of course the quarter mile length of The Block for getting in daily exercise - no matter the weather.

Husband and wife Wally and Nancy Memmer agree. Wally is no stranger to the building. He worked as a software engineer for Bell Labs over 30 years ago, and worked in the Bell Labs Holmdel location for three months. Less than a year ago, he retired from his job as a professor at Brookdale Community College down the road.

Holmdel residents, and husband and wife Wally and Nancy Memmer come to Bell Works six days a week to walk The Block.

“When he retired, I told him he needs not to sit. So we come to Bell Works six days a week to get our exercise,” Nancy said. She’s been coming to the metroburb to take walks every day since the Holmdel Library & Learning Center opened. “It’s fun to watch the building grow and see everything happening around here. We hope to see it continue. And we even want to start a #walkinspired club!” Wally said.

Bell Market at Bell WorksMari Nuval, manager of Bell Market, greets customers with a friendly "Hello!"

Just ask Mari Nuval manager of Bell Market. 

“The great thing about being here is really getting to know the people who come to work here in the building and also the people in the area,” said Mari, from behind the counter at Honeybell Bakery, where she frequently calls out a friendly “Hello!” to Bell Market customers.

“We started as a pop-up, over in the space where the Microsoft shop is now, and we didn’t know if we’d be there one, maybe two months. It ended up being nine months. We didn’t have a system for ordering, so we all learned everyone’s names quickly. It’s been great, we’ve been here so long we’ve seen their kids grow up.”

The Block Comes to Life

The Block at Bell Works, the name for the retail promenade here, started with the Bell Market food hall and recently added more food options: Estrella Azul, a Mexican restaurant, Mezza Luna, an Italian restaurant, and The Hummus & Pita Co. Holmdel Florist, OceanFirst Bank and Alchemist Jewelers recently joined the Bell Works community, too. And it is also home to the Holmdel Library & Learning Center and the Holmdel Montessori school. These businesses are the foundation that the community is built on, but a community can’t just be built by businesses moving into a space, a community has to be fostered, created by the people who comprise it.

And Bell Works is a community that Alexis Coccio, recent Johnson & Wales University Graduate and pastry cook for Honeybell Bakery, is proud to be a part of as well. She happily starts work at 4 a.m. to bring freshly baked pastries and desserts to her loyal customers.

“It’s a great opportunity for someone like me, right out of school,” said Alexis, “to get to work with the great chefs on staff here.”

Some of those people stopping by for breakfast used to work in this space when it was Bell Labs. And according to Mari, they all have great stories to tell— like reminiscing about a long-ago geese invasion of the front pond—and are so happy to be back in the building again.

Bell Works

You don’t have to work in the metroburb to be part of the community. These Mahjong-playing ladies are regulars here.

“I’ve been so lucky to be able to watch, first hand, the evolution of Bell Works. It’s not just the physical space, it’s how the people are coming together to create this community,” said Mari. “It’s not just an office building, it’s a warm, open space. It really is like a home away from home.”

“It’s a great addition to the town,’ said Peter. “And I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

To stay up to date on the latest events and happenings, visit our events page.

Events at Bell Works | Holmdel, NJ

Cellular Innovators Pay a Call to their Former Workplace

Talking and texting with friends on a cell phone is no substitute for spending time in-person. Just ask the pioneers of cell phone technology.

A group of Bell Labs employees responsible for many of the breakthroughs in the 1960s and 70s that paved the way for our iPhones and Kindles met up recently at their former workplace. They laughed, told stories about rolling pennies from one atrium to the next, and enjoyed lunch at the metroburb. Among them was Dick Frankiel, who spearheaded much of the legendary cellular research of the era.

Pioneers of cell phone technology return to Bell Works

A group of Bell Labs cellular innovators met up recently at their former workplace for lunch and a tour.

"This building was our home for decades,” Frankiel said. “It’s wonderful to see it thriving again, and even more spectacular than it was in our time. It still feels like home because it’s not just a historical landmark—it’s the home of a new generation of busy people creating their own memories.”

Stu Tartarone has plenty of his own here. He first arrived in 1972, when he was fresh out of college and interviewed to join a team dedicated to a concept called “cellular-mobile telephony.” He landed the job and soon got to work in a space on the fifth floor (then known as the sixth floor) now occupied by WorkWave.

“We look at those days as the golden age of innovation,” said Tartarone, who worked in Bell Labs three times between 1970s and late 1990s. “The work that took place here not only had an impact on the cellular wireless technology we use today, but essentially changed the world.”

The company began exploring the basic concept of cell phone communication and engineering in 1947. When the Holmdel facility opened 15 years later, the technology was nowhere near practical and there were political obstacles to surmount to gain authorization for the use of the airways. But in time, the group made progress with innovations that are so ingrained in our daily lives that people don’t think about them, unless something goes wrong – like a dropped signal.

One of the major challenges of the era was making it possible for a call to continue seamlessly while the signal transferred from one coverage area to another. Bill Chriss, who worked with the team from 1977-79, recalled the exhilaration of demonstrating their progress to scientists at a 1979 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) vehicular technologies conference.

Pioneers of cell phone technology return to Bell Works

“We have so many memories from this building. It was such a special place and still is! We love coming back.” - Cathy McManus, pictured above.

“One of my favorite memories is riding down River Road in Chicago and asking the people in the back seat if they could tell when we did hand-offs between one cell site and the other,” Chriss said. “Of course, I cheated because in the front seat under the dashboard I had a monitor that showed what channels we were working on. So I could tell when we actually switched and I challenged them to do the same.”

Around that time, Chriss and his co-workers began helping the phone companies plan their first cellular systems. Today the vast network of cell antennas mounted to structures like tall buildings, water towers and artificial trees allow us to carry on clear conversations while we speed down the highways.

As much as any of the scientific marvels they witnessed those days, the group remembers the friendships they forged and the inspiring, yet congenial, office atmosphere. Tartarone described himself and his peers as “nerdy types” who enjoyed and took pride in their work. Chriss said Bell Labs had an academic vibe, as everyone was highly educated and the company paid for its workers to continue earning degrees at nearby institutions.

“People in Bell Labs were very detail-oriented, questioning all kinds of things,” Chriss said. “You had to be able to explain your theories and how stuff worked. You had to ‘show me’ – I’m from Missouri. It was a great environment back then.”

Pioneers of cell phone technology return to Bell Works

Members of the cell tech group return to Bell Works to catch up over lunch and coffee, with their iPhones, Androids and even flip-phones still in hand.

Members of the group have been thrilled to see the transformation taking place at Bell Works. They now return about a half-dozen times per year to catch up over lunch and coffee.

“The improvements in the building are significant and have made it more inviting than it was,” Tartarone said. “It was homey then because of the people here, but what has been done to the building has made it more homey to me. … The whole Bell Works team has given life to a place so many people consider a special part of their youth where they enjoyed working.”

If you have a great Bell Labs story, please share in the comments.

Can I Book My Wedding at Bell Works? Sure Can. And Your Conference Too.

Bell Works is a lot of different things. It’s an iconic building with an inspired history. A visionary self-contained metropolis with its own label, metroburb. A community of two million square-feet of businesses, restaurants, and more. It’s also a killer event space for anything from a small meeting to a large festival.

With over 100,000 square feet of highly flexible indoor event space —and an additional 10,000 square feet of space outdoors— Bell Works is now a premier destination for meetings, events, weddings and more.

Just like the original Bell Labs, event spaces here inspires innovation, encourages collaboration and sparks creativity. Now, just how does an organization or event planner get access to these remarkable spaces? Easy. They talk to Tricia Tierney, Director of Events at Bell Works, who is more than happy to help clients utilize this one-of-a-kind destination to create an amazing event.

The Ballroom at Bell Works

Bell Works is a unique destination for weddings, galas, corporate luncheons, speaker events, drone races, movie shoots and so much more.

What kind of event can I book at Bell Works?

Weddings, galas, corporate luncheons, Ted-style speaker events, drone races, movie shoots, festivals and movie screenings - just a small selection of the events Bell Works can accommodate. Tierney and her team rent out everything from the turf fields and the expansive atrium to intimate corporate meeting spaces.

“We are fortunate to have a stunning canvas to create extraordinary events,” says Tierney. “At times, the space speaks for itself and is stunning on its own. For other events, we pair the amazing background with personal touches from the client. This may be to bring in pipe and drape, greenery, or their name in lights — we do it all!”

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Bell Works’ Creative Director Paola Zamudio curates various community events and styles the ballroom through lighting, decor and music to set the perfect mood.

At its core, Bell Works was created to reframe the relationship between work and community. It was also designed to embrace both the corporate and social worlds. The Bell Works event team is adept at juggling where corporate ends and social begins, helping create memorable meetings and exceptional gatherings.

Whether it’s a sales conference, a gala dinner, or a product launch, these bespoke spaces provide a novel approach on how to bring people together in productive and meaningful ways.

How far ahead should I book?

For corporate events, Tierney recommends a lead time of at least six months, and up to a year in advance for larger events. For smaller team meetings and social events, you can reach out to contract the space up to the week prior to the event.

The Conference Center at Bell Works

Our state of the art conference center offers everything from a 320 seat amphitheater to a 13,000 square foot ballroom to intimate team rooms.

“As long as we have the meeting space,” says Tierney, “We are happy to contract it for your meeting or event.”

There’s more than 60,000 square feet of highly flexible meeting space, including a 320-seat amphitheater, multiple break-out rooms for smaller groups to brainstorm, and abundant pre-function areas. Cutting edge —but easy to use— audio and video equipment is integrated into all of these rooms, providing the perfect environment to bring every presentation to life.

And once you have the space booked, that’s when it’s time to get every detail right. And Tierney and team are ready to help with that too, with innovative, flexible solutions to work for you and the nuances of your event.

“You can cozy up your event space with soft seating and lounge areas or designate open space to relax and refresh on break for an afternoon yoga session. The sky’s the limit with our flexible event space,” she says.

One of the most stunning examples of these flexible locations is The Ballroom at Bell Works: With floor-to-ceiling park views and natural lighting, it’s ideal for general or large educational sessions, conference dining, private parties or weddings. In the evenings, color-changing lights can be styled for your event’s theme. And there isn’t a column to block anyone’s view.

The Ballroom at Bell Works

The tall ceilings and straight lines of the ballroom provide a blank canvas that can be transformed into anything your imagination can dream up.

“Our ballroom is over 13,000 square feet featuring all glass walls, a tall ceiling and no-air walls. It’s very unique for this area,” says Tierney.

The tall ceilings and straight lines of the ballroom provide a blank canvas that can be transformed into anything your imagination can dream up. Like an outer space themed Halloween party with stilt walkers and LED glowing rollerbladers. Check out the party pics from Out of This World here. Or a Havana-themed holiday party with a live band, multiple bars and even a cigar rolling station. Both events were designed and styled by Bell Works’ Creative Director Paola Zamudio.

Out Of This World Halloween Party at Bell Works

Our Halloween party was ‘Out of this World.’

If the ballroom is designed to wow audiences, then the the atrium is designed to bring them together. It’s the heart of Bell Works and many events held here are open to the public, like the weekly Bell Works Fresh farmers’ and makers’ market, and the monthly Fitness With The Works events.

See more past atrium events here.

“The Atrium truly speaks to the energy of the metroburb vision,” says Tierney. “It comes to life daily with our tenants, local community and special events.”

Mardi Gras at Bell Works

For Mardi Gras, we transformed The Block at Bell Works info the famous French Quarter.

An example of these one-of-a-kind special events in the atrium was the recent Mardi Gras celebration, which Tierney says was a huge success with record attendance. The space was transformed into the famous French Quarter for one night with New Orleans-themed bites from Bell Works restaurants Mezza Luna and Estrella Azul; entertainers, live painting and a Mardi Gras-themed makeup bar; and NOLA cocktails, raw bar and Po’ Boy counter by Bell Market. And in the past it’s hosted everything from the Hope for Children Foundation’s Mix, Mingle, & Jingle Wine Tasting to ESPN’s Drone Racing League.

Say bye-bye to a basic event and hello to a one-of-a-kind experience when you book your next meeting or event at Bell Works.

Book your next meeting or event at Bell Works

Check Out a 360° Tour of Bell Works

Kevin Liptak, owner and CCO of Refresh Advertising, is used to thinking and going big. And he is growing his company at Bell Works for that reason: it’s the perfect space to think big and show other brands how they can go big, too. Refresh is a full-service digital agency that utilizes the latest tech, high-definition video, 360° photos, videos, tours, and virtual reality in particular, to create engaging and memorable experiences for brands.

“Any time a photo doesn’t do a space or project justice, we use tech to really immerse someone in it,” Kevin said.

The company takes its name from its use of forward-thinking technologies, the latest techniques and a little creativity to reinvigorate and revitalize brands. They take pride in bringing virtual reality to companies big and small, as long as the size or scope of a project would benefit from the technology. And when Kevin first saw Bell Works a little over a year ago, the size and scope of this historic building instantly spoke to him.

“It was just such a cool space,” said Kevin about his first time here. “You just felt an energy being here.”

And that energy was part of why, not long after, Refresh relocated from a coworking space in Fort Monmouth to CoLab the coworking space here.

Roof Deck 360See the roof deck in 360°.

The coworking community includes graphic designers, app developers, real estate professionals, marketers, photographers and business coaches. And the industries they work in are diverse: farming, human resources, non-profit, education, legal and more. Click here for membership rates.

Since its move, Refresh has found ways to spotlight their new home in some recent projects, like leveraging the iconic exterior of the world’s largest mirror for a car commercial filmed together with fellow CoLab company Silver Style Pictures.

“We appreciate the CoLab environment, where you can network with people outside your door,” said Kevin. “It makes you want to push yourself a little harder, innovate a little more.”

It was in that spirit of innovation and wanting to capture the impressive scale that makes walking into the space such a “wow” moment that Kevin and the Refresh team created Bell Works in 360°. To virtually put viewers in the metroburb, Refresh combined the building’s logo, colors, imagery, and iconography along with the team’s photography to create an immersive brand experience. The end result is a web and virtual reality version that blends Bell Works’ branding with high-resolution 360° shots of several building "hotspots."

CoLab at Bell WorksGet a 360° look inside one of the coworking spaces.

“Our goal is always, especially in the case of the Bell Works project, to capture the size and scale of a place in ways that a photo alone can’t," said Kevin. “I’m really proud of this one.”

Bell Works in 360° was first featured as a demo at The New Jersey Advertising Club’s annual “Innovation Summit “ in November 2018 at Bell Works.

360 home

You can view Bell Works in 360° here.

When it comes to their virtual reality capabilities, Refresh Advertising has simplified the production process, making this technology, which was once only a novelty available to billion dollar businesses, an accessible and affordable business tool available to your average company.

“Virtual reality can be used for every use under the sun," said Kevin. “Headsets are getting cheaper, quality is getting better. Like everything else, it’s all about how quickly the tech moves.”

Brands that partner with Refresh can bring their work to life with branded 360° environments, photography, and video. They can then showcase their space with their own portable, wireless headsets, like the Oculus Go, which can also be custom wrapped and carried in a logoed carrying case.

Atrium 360See the atrium in 360°.

“We’re focused on solving business problems with virtual reality and 360° photography,” said Kevin. “Our real thing is combining a company’s brand with the experience. It’s not the experience for the experience’s sake.”

See our coworking rates, building amenities and space options. Download the Bell Works Template for Growth.

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5 Stroller Friendly Things to do At Bell Works this Winter

Rain. Snow. Cold. The dreary atmosphere of winter means few options for parents of stir-crazy kids, and especially fewer options when you can’t stomach one more trip to Chucky Cheese or one more afternoon of Pinterest crafts laden with glitter and the weight of your crafty inadequacies.

But there is hope. And it looks like the quarter mile long glass enclosed Bell Works atrium - the perfect boredom buster, for parents and kids alike.

The Street at Bell Works is a great place to get your steps in for the day without battling the chill with every step: it’s a stroller-friendly pathway that connects all of the places -- restaurants, open spaces, stores and even a library -- with the people -- parents, kids and workers -- who make up the unique metroburb community. You could say, it’s always sunny at Bell Works.

Bell Works

Baby Brearley comes to Bell once a week to have lunch with her mom Rhea who works at iCIMS.

And though The Street is filled with great places to shop and eat, hanging out with some goldfish and a juice box is welcome too.

So, get out of the house, snag an easy to find parking spot (follow signs for Red, Blue, Yellow or Purple lots - they all lead to an atrium entrance) and discover a new place to cure your cabin fever and make some memories, without breaking the bank.

Let the kids go free range

Capped by a full-length skylight, the atrium features two large turf covered areas, perfect for letting your little ones burn off some of that pent-up energy they seem to endlessly have. Grab a seat on a bean bag chair or plop down on the ground yourself and happily let them run circles around you on either of the turf fields. Given the size of Bell Works, these astroturf fields are great spots for gentle ball games or just running free. Go ahead, rearrange all the plastic furniture, make it into a soccer goal or an obstacle course. Whatever’s you. This space is all about play.

Bell Works

Photo by Instagram user @megankhichiphoto.

Just add a juice box

These fields are also a perfect place to create some mom magic and throw an indoor picnic. Just bring a blanket and some food and you’re ready to go. And if packing a picnic lunch is too much work (no judgement here), there are plenty of food options at Bell Works, including chicken fingers and French fries from Mezza Luna, a cheese quesadilla from Estrella Azul, plus other options at Bell Market, Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co., and The Hummus & Pita Co.

Bell Works

Photo by Instagram user @curlyhairconspiracy.

Visit the library

With more than 60 shelves worth of books in over 18,000 square feet of space, this state-of-the-art space isn’t just a library. It’s a beautifully designed, modern multi-use learning and community center. Plus, picking up some of the latest kids books and a bestseller or two for yourself gives you a perfect reason to come back to Bell Works and explore some more. (Maybe even without the kids!) Click here for upcoming kid activities like salt dough making and polymer play.

Photo by Instagram user @aimeewong.

Get yourself a mani

If you’re a busy supermom and omniscient multi tasker, don’t forget to put some me time in your schedule. Meet a mom friend at Bell Works on Wednesdays or Fridays and schedule a manicure at Salon Concrete, the latest addition to their services menu. Tag team and get pampered while the other watches your collected kids. The salon is located right on the turf in the west atrium. For easy access, choose Purple or Yellow parking lots.

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Middletown moms Nicole and Dana with their little ones Zeke and Reagan enjoying a morning on the turf.

Make Wednesdays market day

Rise above the monotony of the week’s grocery store run and mark your calendar for Bell Works Fresh, the weekly farmer’s market here. Besides just the usual fruit and veg, Fresh brings vendors of artisan breads, local art and photography, and luxuries like vintage clothing, jewelry, candles and local sauces and honeys. They even have one that offers ready made dinners and soups. The vendor mix changes weekly so check for updates on their site.

Bell Works

Bell Fresh vendor Annie & Em’s littlest fan!

So, if your cabin fever is at a fever pitch, turn yet another blah winter day into a memorable one by stopping in and checking out Bell Works.

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Give Love, From The Street at Bell Works in The Heart of Holmdel

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with diamonds and roses, but sometimes something unexpected is just as appreciated for Valentine’s Day. After all, your valentine is one-of-a-kind, shouldn’t they receive a gift as unique as they are? Bell Labs was the home of innovation, so it only makes sense that The Street at Bell Works offers a mix of surprising gift ideas, making it the perfect spot for you to find a special something for that special someone.

Holmdel Florist: Non-traditional flowers

Flowers have been a part of Valentine’s Day for as long as there has been a Valentine’s Day. But just because your sweetie isn’t a red roses type doesn’t mean you have to totally skip a bouquet. Stop by Holmdel Florist or order online to find the right arrangement for the object of your affection. From succulents and sunflowers to lilies and birds of paradise, there are so many different blooms and colors to choose from - you’ll find one that will match your beloved’s unique style and personality. Whether you’re going for elegant or eye-catching, Holmdel Florist can design, create and deliver a beautiful arrangement that’s sure to make their coworkers jealous. (And if you want to go the safe route, Holmdel Florist has sweet rose deal too.)

Holmdel Florist at Bell Works

 

Chantelle’s Bell Market Wine + Spirits Club: Monthly membership

Get ready to toast to a spectacular Valentine’s Day with a gift that any wine connoisseur will love - a subscription to Chantelle’s Wine + Spirits Club at Bell Market. Perfect for beginners and wannabe sommeliers alike, the club features new selections hand picked by Chantelle Corbo each month. Chantelle is a longtime sommelier who has previously worked for the Ritz-Carlton and the Stephen Starr Restaurant Group before becoming the Bell Market beverage director (and one of the founders). Wine club memberships are available monthly or as a six-month package. This month’s tasting is on Tuesday, February 19, 4-7 p.m. Explore new varietals and regions, or just sit back, sip and enjoy.

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Salon Concrete: Gift card or monthly membership

Give the gift of glam with a salon gift card to Salon Concrete. Gift cards can be in any amount, and are good for any service, including the latest addition to their menu - manicures. Or if your beloved is longing for their own “glam squad,” maybe one of the salon’s monthly memberships is what they are dreaming of. There are four options to choose from:

  • The Blow Dry Club will give her a month of unlimited blow dry services including shampoo and conditioning, plus complimentary hot tools.
  • In love with a hair color chameleon? Gift membership to the Color Club where he or she can indulge their whims with unlimited single process color, glazes and color blow dry services.
  • If your significant other always wants to try the latest and greatest, sign her or him up for the Product Club and they’ll receive two full size retail products every month.
  • And looking flawless isn’t just for women: there’s the Men’s Barbering Club, with unlimited haircuts, clean ups and beard trims.
Salon Concrete at Bell Works

 

City Barn | Country Penthouse: Handmade rustic gifts and decor

Your significant other will thank you for skipping the candy carbs for a lasting and memorable gift like a rustic block or signs from City Barn | Country Penthouse. These affordable gifts are handmade in Massachusetts from reclaimed wood, each piece with its own character (just like your lover). Choose from one of their pre-made sayings or order a custom one with your own inside joke, special saying or even a photo. There's an almost endless variety of gifts here for him or her, from ties and dishes to wall hangings and locally inspired throw pillows. 

city barn country penthouse bell works

 

The Bar Method: Fitness membership

The Bar Method is all about customization: the signature method of this boutique fitness studio is perfect for students of all levels - meaning their first class will be as customized as the 50th. This transformative workout is designed to reshape and strengthen from head to toe - making it the right fit for every experience level, every body, and every age. And gifting options are just as versatile - from a two-week trial membership to a month of unlimited classes to a 20-pack of classes - you’re sure to find the right fit. So, no matter your loves’ fitness level, help her stick to her New Year’s workout resolution this Valentine’s Day.

 

Lauren Farrell Pop-Up Shop: Handbags

Handbag designer and entrepreneur Lauren Farrell has built her brand by making unique handbags for fashionable sports fans. For the month of February, you have the unique opportunity to shop her made-in-the-USA Lauren Farrell NY handbags at Bell Works. Her handbags are perfect for your favorite fanatic, with team colors, super-soft leather and stadium-friendly sizes. Stop in and if you can’t decide which bag is the perfect present, pick up a gift card instead. Read more about the origin of her latest collection.

 

Show your loved ones that you put some thought into the Valentine’s Day gift and pick up something special at one of the shops at Bell Works today.

 

A Pop Up Shop with Fashion and a Passion To Help a Holmdel Family Foundation

You may have noticed the Lauren Farrell NY pop-up shop in the Bell Works main atrium, with its brightly colored handbags and American flag on proud display. And you may have gone in and chatted with the approachably chic brunette who runs it (yes, that would be Lauren Farrell herself) and even picked up one of her irresistibly soft bags. But what you may not know is that Lauren and her V-adorned bags are in the metroburb for the month to help honor a special little girl named Vienna.

Two-year-old Vienna Savino loved getting dressed up, borrowing her big sisters’ too-big sandals, and everything hot pink. Her mom Dr. Denise Wunderler, a Holmdel primary care sports medicine physician, had always been the opposite, caring more about function over fashion, carrying what she calls a “wallet on a string.” A mother-daughter ying yang.

Lauren Farrell NY pop-up at Bell Works

The Lauren Farrell NY Pop-Up will be located in the main atrium for the entire month of Feb.

But just months before her third birthday, Vienna passed away unexpectedly. Vienna’s death was categorized as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC), which is a leading category of death in toddlers, but is not something most people have heard of. Devastated but determined to honor their always-smiling daughter, Denise and her family started Team Vienna, a non-profit to raise awareness and support research for SUDC.

When handbag designer Lauren Farrell heard about Team Vienna and SUDC, she felt like she had to reach out to Denise and to find some way to help.

“I’ve always loved children, I used to be a babysitter, and I didn’t know how, but I knew there was no way that I’m not going to help,” said Lauren.

Lauren has built her brand by making unique handbags for fashionable sports fans, with designs in team colors that are sleek, chic and follow strict stadium bag size policies. Her handbags are all about personal style with a team mentality, which made her a natural fit when it came to honoring Vienna’s legacy.

Lauren Farrell at Bell Works

Lauren Farrell, handbag designer for fashionable sports fans.

“I had thought it be amazing to do a handbag in Vienna’s honor,” said Denise. And Lauren was on the same page; when they first met in person, both Denise and Lauren had “Team Vienna Handbags” written in their pre-coffee date notes.

“We even had similar design sketches,” said Lauren. “It was important to us all that we created something that would embody Vienna’s personality.”

Around the same time Lauren began work on The Vienna Collection, she was put in touch with Moshe Gross, Bell Works’ former Director of Special Projects.

“Moshe Gross made it all happen,” said Lauren about her pop-up. “Once he knew there was a charity involved, he made it happen. I think a big piece of it was that we were doing something good for the community, and raising awareness.”

“It’s been pretty cool being one of the first pop-ups in a place with so much history,” she added. “It’s such a unique concept. I love meeting the employees that were drawn here, and finding out about the companies where they work. It’s all just really interesting.”

At the pop-up you can find The Vienna, which converts from a crossbody to clutch, and the V3 Crossbody, a mini version of The Vienna in Lauren’s signature stadium-friendly size. The handbags are made in the USA of super-soft Italian leather with a bold contrast V on the front and hot pink lining inside.

Each Vienna handbag includes a tag with a haloed V, and a special hot pink lining inside, as pink was Vienna’s favorite color.

Every detail of the bags have a lot of thought and meaning, including a tag with a haloed V, and a special magenta and turquoise color combo chosen by Vienna’s sister. For every Vienna Collection handbag sold, proceeds will be donated to the family’s nonprofit.

You can purchase The Vienna, V3 Crossbody, and handbags from Lauren’s entire collection at the Lauren Farrell NY Pop-Up in the main atrium at Bell Works through the month of February or online at www.laurenfarrellny.com.

Lauren had so much fun collaborating with Vienna’s older sister that she was inspired her to lead design workshops at Bell Works for other mini fashion fans on February 16 and 23 from noon to 3 p.m.

Both Denise and Lauren had “Team Vienna Handbags” written in their pre-coffee date notes.

The goal of The Vienna Collection, much like everything that Team Vienna is doing, is not only to honor Vienna, but to raise awareness and research support for SUDC.

“We know this is very a special thing,” said Denise. “I’m thrilled that Bell Works sees the specialness of all that’s going on and is a part of it.”

For more information about Team Vienna 4 SUDC Awareness visit, www.teamviennasudc.org.

Special thanks to Pat Garofalo, Bell Works' Senior Property Manager for also assisting with the success of the Lauren Farrell NY Pop-Up.

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From Retrofit to Community Center, Bell Works Gets Better With Age

Ten year transformation challenges are a risky endeavor for people. Regrettable decade old fashion choices and the volatility of the scale make these the territory of the brave (or the incredibly fit). In architecture too, 10 years of wear can mean faded signs and faded relevance. But not at Bell Works.

When Ralph Zucker of Somerset Development made the brave leap to purchase and redevelop the defunct Bell Labs building in Holmdel, NJ, there were more naysayers than cheerleaders. Now a decade after it sat vacant and overgrown, the iconic structure is an adaptive reuse - part office building, part retail center, part pedestrian gathering place. Zucker’s brainchild is now a little city in the suburbs called the metroburb.

See how Bell Works has changed in 10 years

The most obvious physical changes are in the atriums. See below, the once cluttered and closed off atriums and the solid walls that separated the offices from the expansive, light filled atrium. For the adaptive reuse, they were replaced with full glass walls - as architect Eero Saarinen had always intended.

Bell Labs

 

Bell Labs

The neglected and overgrown atrium after Bell Labs (and then Lucent) closed its doors. 

The three atriums here are now wide open gathering spaces. The center atrium features a custom furniture project called  The Tubes, the brainchild of a talented team of creatives: world-renowned furniture designer Ron Arad, the team behind the Italian artisan furniture company Moroso, and the creative team of Bell Works - Master Architect Alexander Gorlin, Creative Director and founder of NPZ Style + Décor Paola Zamudio, and Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development and the visionary behind the building’s adaptive reuse.

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

 The custom-designed atrium furniture are intended to be as much sculpture as they are a space to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

Now home to 2,000 workers from more than 75 tenant companies (and counting), Bell Works is also a community center for Monmouth County where every week it welcomes hundreds from the local community who use the Holmdel Library, visit the Wednesday farmers market and now, come for breakfast and lunch at Bell Market, The Hummus & Pita Co., and coffee shop Booskerdoo. Along The Street, the indoor pedestrian walkway, shoppers enjoy home decor store City Barn | Country Penthouse, a convenience store, Salon Concrete and fitness concept The Bar Method.

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Six more retailers are under construction with openings planned for 2019 including Jersey Freeze ice cream shop; Alchemist Jewelers; Holmdel Florist; restaurants Mezza Luna and Estrella Azul. About 10 more retail leases are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Click here for more on retail news at Bell Works.

Step into Bell Works on any weekday morning and you might expect to find the trappings of an office park - workers drinking coffee and queuing up to the elevator to disappear until noon.

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

Bell Works is for everyone, even the littlest ones. And it may be cold outside but it's always warm and sunny in the atrium. Moms and dads, escape the cold and come by for a coffee, visit the library and stay for lunch. (You can even squeeze in a hair cut and a little home shopping.) Photo by Lauren Foti. 

Instead, children are skipping across a turf field, a UX team is huddled together in front of a World Cup viewing station and a local vinter is uncrating her chardonnay for that afternoon’s farmers market. There are those workers drinking coffee and taking the elevator, but you almost don’t notice them among the flurry of activity on what appears to be an indoor pedestrian street. Actually four distinct buildings, Bell Works is centered around three open atriums, two with green spaces, along the quarter mile indoor street.

Bell Labs

 

Bell Labs

 

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

The evolution of the public cafe area, from Bell Labs to Big Bang at Bell Works. Design by NPZ Style & Decor.

When world renowned architect Eero Saarinen set out to design the building in 1961 (when it was a home to over 6,000 Bell Labs employees), he knew he wanted to create an open-atrium scheme with this one-of-a-kind pedestrian street.

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

Local residents stop here for lunch and shopping after a workout. The building is open to the public Monday-Saturday.

The Street at Bell Works is a component of the metroburb concept. Coined by the New Urbanist movement, and popularized by Zucker, the metroburb is an urban hub, a core, a little metropolis in a suburban location. Zucker describes it to visitors like this, “A large-scale mixed use building, with great access, office, retail, entertainment, hospitality, residential, health, wellness, fitness, everything you would find in a metropolis but in a great suburban location. Think Red Bank, Morristown and New Brunswick.”

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

The luxury conference center serves tenants and guests with flexible meeting spaces and sleek design.

Bell Works now includes a full service luxury conference and event center for small and large scale corporate and hospitality events. Inquire about hosting an event. The transformation continues inside the world’s largest mirror as Bell Works builds a new coworking space, experience based entertainment concepts, and a rooftop boutique hotel slated to open in 2020.

On The Street where a week has a time lapse effect for visitors, office tenants can see changes daily. Many take walking meetings, host informal meetings in the atrium or find a quiet seat on the turf to think through a project. Working here means being a part of the state’s largest, most dynamic adaptive reuse project, and that has its perks.

“Work used to have to happen at a desk, and play was everything outside of being at that desk. Today, live/work/play means something totally different,” Zucker said. “Everything is coming together and there really is not a demarcation between live, work or play.” 

See how The Street at Bell Works will grow. Download the retail map.

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Does Where You Work Look This Good? Bell Works Tenants Capture Their Workplace in Photos

During the day of Bell Labs, cameras weren’t allowed in the building, but today, its mid century lines, angles and shadows make it a unique destination, not just for work, shopping or dining, but for photography.

The quality of the natural light here and the endless angles to shoot attract creatives from all around the globe, and from the offices right upstairs, each bringing their own meaning and perspective to their photos.

Did you know that Bell Works has played host to Tim McGraw, Elle Magazine, Cadillac and Zara? Those are just a few of the creatives and brands that have used our space as a backdrop for their videos, editorial spreads and commercials. See more of how Bell Works looks through a photographer’s eyes here. But what we love the most is the seeing the metroburb through the lenses of the people who work and play here everyday.

To inspire area residents and tenants of the metroburb community, this fall Bell Works hosted a photo contest on Instagram to challenge everyday photographers to capture the metroburb from their own perspective. The contest ran for a month, during the scenic months of September and October.

Here are some beautifully captured shots from Bell Works admirers.

FullSizeRender-12Photo By: @theflyguysphotography

FullSizeRender-10Photo By: @olliej317

FullSizeRender-9Photo By: @hemaguptapaintings

FullSizeRender-8Photo By: @workwave

FullSizeRender-7Photo By: @icims_inc

FullSizeRender-5Photo By: @welearntopersevere

FullSizeRender-11Photo By: @true.connect

FullSizeRender-1Photo By: @jeffcruz012

FullSizeRender-6Photo By: @beckythetechie

FullSizeRender-2-2Photo By: @ginamz831

Have a great Bell Works photo you’d like to share with us? Tag us on Instagram @bellworks #mybellworks. 

Retail at Bell Works: What’s Here. What’s Coming.

When they signed their lease at Bell Works, the chefs and partners of RBC Hospitality Group knew there was no customer data to project from. There wasn’t even any foot traffic. Just a few tenant companies and many more promised to the under-construction live.work.play space. Part office building, part retail center, part pedestrian gathering place, Bell Works is the brainchild of developer Ralph Zucker who wanted to create a little city in the suburbs, now called the metroburb.

Now just a year later, the building is home to 2,000 workers from more than 75 tenant companies and every week welcomes hundreds from the local community who use the Holmdel Library, visit the Wednesday farmers market and now, come for breakfast and lunch at Bell Market, RBC Hospitality Group’s first venture. 

 

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“We’re trying to build a restaurant group that is going to sustain us all,” Chef Chad Spencer says. “We want to nurture these people to be owners of their own restaurants someday. So we’re building a family that can grow as we grow.” Read more about the chefs, sommelier, and of course, the food of Bell Market.

The restaurant group owners join a growing retail community that includes fast casual restaurant Hummus & Pita Co., coffee shop Booskerdoo, home decor store City Barn | Country Penthouse, a convenience store and Salon Concrete. Plus a long list of retailers prepping to open.

Looking for a home for your retail business?

Download the retail map.

 

What’s new: Hummus & Pita Co.

 

For cofounder Dave Pesso, there was only one logical next step for the evolution of his restaurant franchise chain, Hummus & Pita Co. With three NYC locations and one in Connecticut, expansion to his home state of New Jersey just made good sense. But when he stepped into Bell Works it was awe and inspiration that replaced logic.

“It's like the eighth wonder of the world. It’s a beautiful behemoth and at full capacity it will be as busy as any skyscraper in NYC,” Pesso said. “Bell Works is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

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You have everything you need in a whole day right here - you don’t need to go outside of this place. I like to say it’s a small city in one small place.” - Hummus & Pita Co. franchise owner Kaushal Shah.

The Mediterranean restaurant opened its doors in late 2018 to a warm welcome of customers lined up out the door and onto the indoor pedestrian street. Since then business has been brisk and franchise owner Kaushal Shah has begun tailoring his offerings to the 9-5 tenant community, now offering delivery to your office and American and Mediterranean breakfast options, a first for any Hummus & Pita Co. location.

The 2,300 sq. ft. restaurant serves up dishes like falafel, gyro and meatball pitas cooked fresh daily on the premises and offers seats for 45 inside the restaurant and al fresco on The Street (that’s the indoor promenade beneath the glass ceiling of the atrium here). The eatery also offers plenty of vegetarian and gluten free options.

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“I love the concept of the metroburb at Bell Works. You have offices, retail, residential, commercial, health, wellness, entertainment. That concept amazed me. That is the thing that sold this place,” Shah said. “You have everything you need in a whole day right here - you don’t need to go outside of this place. I like to say it’s a small city in one small place.”

 

What’s next: Fitness, food, flowers and more

 

Six more retailers are under construction with openings planned for 2019 including The Alchemist, a jeweler; Holmdel Florist; restaurants Mezzaluna and Estrella Azul; and fitness concept, The Bar Method. About 10 more retail leases are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Chrissy Valerio, owner of The Bar Method Shrewsbury since 2008, and one of Bell Works’ newest retail tenants. Her new location will open in early 2019.

Almost fully leased are the boutique fitness components of Fit Lab. Branded a fitness experience, Fit Lab will include a modern 10,000-square-foot gym and divide an adjacent 9,000-square-foot area among a group of boutique fitness businesses. The plan is to also convert an existing Bell Labs-era fitness facility, located on the lower level, into a locker room area. To a passerby, Fit Lab will look like four small storefronts on the ground floor. What they’ll actually be seeing is the three boutique facilities and a fourth door to the full-service gym, which will form the shape of an L behind them.

According to Sean Pyle, Senior Associate with Sabre, Bell Works’ exclusive retail broker, the team is still actively looking for a large format gym operator to occupy the 19,000 sq. ft. space that spans two floors.

Click here to speak to our retail team.

 

A place to grow: Salon Concrete

 

New retailers will make their home along The Street at Bell Works, a quarter of a mile piazza located within the 2 million square foot building, where a handful of businesses are already thriving. One of the first on the block was Salon Concrete.

Christine Zilinski had been on the lookout several years for a place that felt right for location number two of her successful Red Bank business Salon Concrete. The metroburb vibe was a powerful draw, as she knew right away it was where she wanted to be.

“One of the reasons I wanted to be here is that there are so many inspiring entrepreneurs and so many people doing progressive things,” she said. “I want to be around those people.”

Among the top of her list is Somerset Development President Ralph Zucker. Zilinksi recalled a conversation she had with him around the time she signed her lease, when he congratulated her and shared his own story.

Salon Concrete education events

 

Christine Zilinski of Salon Concrete runs industry education events from her Bell Works location.

“One of the things he said was, As an entrepreneur, there are going to be a lot of naysayers. Hold your vision. Because that’s what he had to do here,” she said. “It’s so important to do that when you’re taking risks and doing things that are out of your comfort zone.”

 

A place to market: City Barn | Country Penthouse

 

Husband and wife team Carrie Carretta and Rick Giambastini have always shared their love for eclectic design and sophisticated materials. The couple recently opened City Barn | Country Penthouse a high end home, bed, bath and gift store at Bell Works. 

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When Carrie, a former nurse, and Rick, a financial services professional, looked for a location for their new business they shied away from strip malls and traditional shopping centers. “We knew the first time we toured Bell Works that it would be the perfect fit for us,” Rick said. “The building is unique and unconventional, just like us.”

“One of my favorite sayings is ‘Lose respect for the status quo.’ Bell Works is the antithesis of the status quo. It represents who we are as a new store concept, and who we are as people,” Carrie said.

 

A place to gather: Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co.

 

At the center of The Street at Bell Works is the atrium, an expansive light filled space where tenants and visitors meet for coffee, lunch or just to take a quiet break on the custom Italian furniture called The Tubes.

James Caverly 4

 

James Caverly, co-owner of Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co. now operates four locations.

Many of those tenants and visitor enjoy their coffee at Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co., the metroburb’s first retail tenant who followed iCIMS on its move from Matawan. Co-owner James Caverly oversees the business, but also focuses on the wholesale program which includes finding new clients, working with current clients, creating new products, and working with their roastmaster to find new coffees.

“There’s a bunch of reasons why I love being a part of the metroburb. Frankly, I just find the place impressive, cool, and it’s exciting to be a part of something this interesting. A lot of things that are going on today isolate us, like with our phones and working from home, and this whole concept brings everybody together. I think it’s a great model for hopefully, what is to come.

“When we first came to Bell Works it was a big question mark of, that sounds cool, but can we pull it off? They’ve done exactly what they were hoping to do, and then some. They set the culture for it being a really nice, down to earth place. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors out there but this is real. It’s not trying to be something it’s not, it’s exactly what it is.”

 bell works fresh farmers market

Wednesdays from 2 - 6 p.m. (except during January break) the metroburb hosts Bell Works Fresh, the latest edition of the Asbury Fresh farmers market group. More than 30 farmers, artisans and small food businesses turn out to sell everything from the usual fruits and veggies fare, plus wine, pickles, gourmet mushrooms, chocolates and array of artisan goods. Bell Works Fresh draws crowds from both tenants and the public.

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Chef Richard Corbo of Corbo & Sons teaches the art of making pizza to one of his Bell Market team members.

That same day, Bell Market holds a happy hour and pizza night inside the social house. Adjacent to the Corbo & Sons pizza ovens is the bar where Beverage Director, resident sommelier and RBC partner Chantelle Corbo serves up cocktails, beer and wine that run the gamut on price, taste and provenance with everything from a $4 Miller Lite to a $10 French Rosé to accompany your pepperoni or fig and truffle honey pizza.

So far the public reception has been great. At the grand opening Corbo turned out 100 pizzas, selling out before 6 p.m. “It was like cardio,” he said.

See where your retail business fits in our marketplace. Download the retail map.

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Bell Works Tubes Project Uses Functional Art To Reimagine A Futuristic Public Space

It was a long-anticipated installation in the Bell Works community: The tubular sofas known as the Bell Works Tubes in our atrium.

The completion of the furniture marked the end of a two-year project to create a collective space that is simultaneously artistic and functional, dramatic and comfortable, historic and modern. Whether you’re entering the atrium for the first time or simply passing by on your way to work, the Tubes set the stage for the creative and collaborative environment that makes Bell Works so unique.

With its sharp lines, bold patterns, and bright pops of color, the work may appear to be something straight out of a modern art museum; yet its open layout and unexpected design create a fun and inviting atmosphere that welcomes regulars and newcomers alike. The custom-designed atrium furniture project is the brainchild of a talented team of creatives: world-renowned furniture designer Ron Arad, and the team behind the Italian artisan furniture company Moroso and the creative team of Bell Works - Master Architect Alexander Gorlin, Creative Director and founder of NPZ Style + Décor Paola Zamudio, and Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development and the visionary behind the building’s adaptive reuse.

“It became immediately clear (after meeting Zamudio and Arad) that we have a mutual understanding of design and quality,” said Moroso’s Jens Rodieck. “Throughout the project, intensive discussions, meetings, and site visits helped us design a work that contributes profoundly to an iconic building.”

“This was a collaborative effort,” Zamudio said, “but the furniture designer is Ron Arad and it was his vision for the round tubes as a contrast to the squares within the space. He insisted on creating his own custom design after he visited. I love his aesthetic, everything he makes is sculptural art.”

Ron Arad (second from left) discusses design concepts with Master Architect Alexander Gorlin and representatives of the Moroso team at Bell Works.

Zamudio turned to art history as the starting point for the project, selecting a 1926 work by textile artist Anni Albers as her inspiration behind the furniture design. She thought the colors and the story would be a perfect complement to the existing atrium tile work, which had been designed by Gorlin after the work of Anni’s husband, Josef Albers. It was Gorlin’s architectural perspective that helped Zamudio create the layout. “I selected Anni Albers’s work because I wanted to connect the history of their artwork as pioneers of twentieth-century modernism, as well as their relationship to one another.” Zamudio was also drawn to the yellow and red pops of color in Anni Albers’ work that would brighten and enliven the space.

 Photo by Marcus deSilva

Zamudio’s next step was to find a furniture concept that would complement the floor while also contributing to the innovative design of the atrium. Arad was so captivated by pictures of the building that he visited Bell Works to see the stunning architectural feat for himself. He was then inspired to create his custom-designed tubular sofas, which made their debut at Milan’s Salone del Mobile Milano and went on to be featured in the New York Times. The artisans at Moroso provided the functional component to Arad’s design and manufactured his work for commercial use.

Despite attracting design attention from around the world, the space is so much more than just an artistic display—it also serves as a common area for the building that cultivates a strong sense of community and sets the tone for the creative and innovative environment of Bell Works. “Paola and Ralph’s vision for an interactive place to work, relax, and meet gave way to a design which is simultaneously functional, beautiful, and fun,” Rodieck said. The openness of the space—and lack of corners and walls to hide behind—creates an accessible setting that encourages people to interact with one another. The unique design of the atrium and the Tubes is something you couldn’t find anywhere else, and this originality inspires the surrounding community to think boldly and imaginatively.

The creative team behind the Tubes attributes much of the successful creation of the space to Ralph Zucker and his openness to new ideas. He encouraged the group to try new methods and experiment stylistically throughout the project. “Ralph believes in the importance of great design and encouraged me to take artistic risks,” explained Zamudio, “A lot of the time, developers want something safe; Ralph wants the future.”

Zamudio takes pride in the legacy of design that the Tubes will leave at Bell Works, and she especially enjoys seeing the community gather in the atrium around the new furniture installation. “Now you can see people sitting at the Tubes and talking to each other. This is why people come to Bell Works—it’s not just the building, it’s because they want to feel connected, they want to meet the people here. That connection is what we’re nurturing in each of the areas we create.”

See how Bell Works tenant JGS Insurance takes a break on the Tubes. Click to watch.

 

Bell Works Through a Photographer's Eyes

Bell Works is not only iconic for some of the most monumental technological innovations of the 20th century, but it has also become a hot spot for photographers (those of us who love snapping pics on our phones). Designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen in 1962 as a home for over 6,000 Bell Labs employees, the building features an open-atrium scheme and one-of-a-kind pedestrian street. During the day of Bell Labs, cameras weren’t allowed in the building, but today, its mid century lines, angles and shadows make it a unique destination for people who are inspired by the building and bring their own meaning and perspective to their photos.

In fact, artists and creatives far and wide have become visually inspired by the building for their projects. In August of 2016, artist Sarah Meyohas brought a team to Bell Works to perform an experiment right here in our atrium on our patterned floor created by Josef Albers. For Meyohas, the space came before the idea. After visiting Bell Works in the spring, she was immediately moved to create, but her iconic muse did not immediately inspire her to action. Then she had a dream. A dream about a cloud of rose petals. During her three day ‘Cloud of Petals’ performance/data-collecting mission, sixteen men chose rose petals they deemed most beautiful, which later got pressed to create a physical subset. That cloud of petals became the multi-layered conceptual performance art piece named Roses at Bell, consisting of 10,000 roses, photographs of the petals and a narrative documentary-style 16 mm film.

Photo credit by ???

Photo by Bell Works

Saarinen’s design also attracted contemporary artist and director Daniel Arsham who chose the building to shoot several scenes for the film Future Relic ‘03” starring James Franco and Juliette Lewis. Arsham, a fan of the architects work, deemed the 473-acre site the “perfect location.” It’s also the kind of space that drew country singer Tim McGraw and his crew to feature Bell and its sprawling grass fields as backdrop for the cover of the singer’s 14th album, Damn Country Music.

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Photo by The Garibaldi Group

In October 2017, the metroburb was awarded the The Commercial Design Award of Excellence  by Docomomo US for emphasizing the importance of partnerships between owners, architects and the community coming together to save and reinvigorate architecture that at one point faced demolition. Then Interior Design Magazine recognized our space as a Power Grid 100 Best Commercial, Mix-use, non-profit ( and also recognized our Creative Director Paola Zamudio as a top 10 Best Designer Up and Comer, and our Architect Alexander Gorlin as a Power Grid 100 Best Architect.)

The quality of the natural light here and the endless angles to shoot attract creatives from all around the globe, including local photography groups. In August 2015, Jersey Collective, a collaborative Instagram project created to showcase the beauty of New Jersey and the talent of the photographers who live here, hosted a meetup and guided tour for those interested in learning more about the building. Guests were brought to the most interesting places in Bell Works to photograph to hone in on their skills and explore its most photogenic areas.

Slide through to see images of amateur and professional photographers who have captured their own personal perspective on Bell Works.

Are you ready to capture your own image of Bell Works?

Bell Works welcomes photographers and members of the public to visit our building during business hours to capture images for their own personal use.

To learn more, download our photography guidelines.

 Photography at Bell Works

A Dream, A Cloud of Rose Petals: Vision of Artist Sarah Meyohas Comes to Life at Bell Works

 

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”

― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

For artist Sarah Meyohas, the space came before the idea. After visiting Bell Works in the spring, she was immediately moved to create, but her iconic muse did not immediately inspire her to action. Then she had a dream. A dream about a cloud of rose petals.

“I started thinking about the history of Bell Labs ushering in the information era, where we find ourselves today,” said Sarah. “I thought about the cloud of petals and the process of making it.”

That cloud of petals became the multi-layered conceptual performance art piece named Roses at Bell, consisting of 10,000 roses, photographs of the petals, and a narrative documentary-style 16 mm film.

On August 24, 16 men took their places at individual work stations strategically placed in a pattern on the color theorist Josef Albers-inspired black, gray and white tiled atrium, each tasked with dissecting roses of different colors and taking photos of each petal. Each man chose the most beautiful petal from each rose to save for pressing. Those subjectively chosen petals, along with the photos of each, were turned into pixels.

Sarah, who attended Yale University, alma mater of both Albers and Eero Saarinen, the famous architect behind the iconic 2-million-square foot mid-century Bell Labs building in Holmdel, said the number of photos taken is too many to count, but believes it to be in the six figure range.

Roses is reminiscent of the technology advancements attributed to the scientists who worked at Bell Labs in its heyday, but inspired by the transitional state the building is in today, and its adaptive reuse into a live, work, play space.

“It’s changing its character without losing its past,” said Sarah. “I wanted to locate this performance within this transition, in this in between.”

The mechanical process of registering each petal is nostalgic of the days when archival work was done by hand, primarily by women, to document and record history, science and technology. Sarah purposely flipped that gender role ideation on its head by choosing men to complete the meticulous work of deconstructing each rose by hand.

“I wanted to force men to do delicate work,” said Sarah. “This is similar to the Google scanning project, which is full of heartfelt accidents since every page is scanned by a human. People often see fingerprints on the scans, a reminder that the physical labor was done by a living person.”

These seemingly tiny and mundane archival tasks of the past were used to empower huge recognition systems, paving the way for the information age.

“Archives, throughout history, affirm power,” said Sarah. “What narrative, what type of info we pick and why we record it. That hasn’t changed, technology just makes it different.”

Sarah’s piece is archival yet current, black and white but colorful, mechanical yet digital, fleeting but timeless. This mirroring is an ever-common theme in Sarah’s work. The rose petals have since dried and withered, but the photos of the velvet beauties will exist forever. It’s about what is lost and what is gained from losing.

“We’ve created such an archive of information, but it’s sort of this manic situation and sometimes makes no sense, but it’s so romantic at the same time,” said Sarah.

A film documenting the project was shot on 16mm film, reflecting the end of the mechanical era and a new resurgence of the information era. But the choice to shoot with an obsolete technology is a timeless artifact of the process and outcome of the exhibit.

“It’s much more material than digital,” said Sarah, who found it difficult even getting 16mm film. “With the photos it was about volume. With the film we only shot when we really had what we wanted.”

Sarah, who had a team of more than 40 people working with her, is now tasked with sifting through the photos and finding a link. A link between shape perhaps, or color.

“We have our desires encoded in our choices,” said Sarah. “We were very much like worker bees in this project. In order to survive, roses need to attract the bees, so they became the most beautiful. That’s why roses are associated with love. Beauty calls copies of itself into existence. When something is beautiful, you want to draw it or photograph it.”

Sarah plans to use the pressed rose petals as wall art to premier at an upcoming exhibit, and would like to use the film, meant to be a sort of art reality television, as documentation of the event. And the photos? To be decided by Sarah later.

“I’m not for or against anything that comes out of this project,” said Sarah. “I wanted people, and myself, to be confronted and feel different things. So many things went into this project and so many things can come out.”

Architecture, design and art. At Bell Works, they are one.

Roses at Bell isn’t the only artistic thing to happen in the Bell Works building. The space has attracted director Daniel Arsham who chose the building to shoot several scenes for the film Future Relic ‘03” starring James Franco and Juliette Lewis. Arsham, a fan of Saarinen’s work, deemed the 473-acre site the “perfect location.” It’s also the kind of space that drew country singer Tim McGraw and his crew to feature Bell and its sprawling grass fields as backdrop for the cover of the singer’s 14th album, Damn Country Music.

And Roses certainly won’t be the last expression of art that happens in this historic backdrop.

Interested in using Bell Works as a space for artistic work? Email events@bell.works or call 732-226-8818.

Event: ROSES AT BELL by Artist Sarah Meyohas

On August 24th, artist Sarah Meyohas will place ten thousand roses of different colors and varieties in Bell Works. Every petal will be picked and photographed by sixteen temporary workers at individual stations arranged in the atrium on a floor pattern by Josef Albers, producing a digital data set. The workers will set aside the petals they consider most beautiful. Those will be taken to a private room, where another person will also select petals for their beauty, and press them to create a physical subset. Once the process of photographing is completed, the digital petals will be analyzed — the color and vibrance, shape and contour, pattern of the pixels — to cluster images and find links. The 200,000+ images will be used to create unique new digital petals by interpolation, or perhaps machine learning can reveal conclusions about beauty. In conjunction to the 10,000 Roses installation, a semi-narrative film will be shot on 16mm in the space, commenting on the end of the mechanical era and a new resurgence of the information era.

On Saturday, August 27th at 3 PM, Sarah Meyohas will give a brief artist talk.

When Fashion Meets Architecture

Sleek lines. Sharp angles. Geometric patterns. Precise craftsmanship. You’ll find them in fashion. You’ll find them in architecture. And you’ll find them both at Bell Works.

Fashion is ephemeral, changing with the whims of the season and its tastemakers. Architecture is more permanent, its style changing with the decades. Both rooted in tradition and spurred by innovation. Both grounded in the past and inspired by the future. Architecture inspires fashion. Fashion inspires architecture.

Where fashion and architecture collide, the effect of their designs is amplified, and it’s happening in the woods of Holmdel, NJ where a dormant icon of architecture, design and technology is waking up and welcoming creatives to come and be inspired.

The former home of Bell Labs, Bell Works is the reimagined redevelopment of the Eero Saarinen-designed space, taking shape as a work play space and a center for creativity. Even as it’s under construction, the site has played host to filmmakers, artists, musicians, and most recently, a fashion publishing house.

When Elle Mexico was scouting locations for its editorial shoot, it landed on Bell Works for its 2 million square feet of shootable space where they could set their stage and take advantage of the soaring six floor atriums. Each wing of the airplane hangar-sized building is flooded with light from glass windows and its glass paneled roof.

Photographer Santiago Ruisenor captures Bell’s personality, the building as much a character in the shoot as the models and the clothing themselves. It stands strong and deep against classic silhouettes, geometric prints and architecture-inspired grays from fashion designer Sportmax, juxtaposed with the stunning setting, full of granite-gray ledges, gorgeous glass and shimmering glimpses of sunlight.

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“The Elle Mexico shoot was a great fit,” said Alexandra Harrison, Brand Manager at Somerset Development, the real estate firm involved in the renovation of Bell Works. “The space is evocative and versatile based on it's sheer size and its large open spaces. For someone with a camera and a creative eye, the building offers so much in the way of artistic opportunity.”

It’s the kind of space that attracted director Daniel Arsham to chose the building to shoot several scenes of his Tribeca Film Festival-premiered film, “Future Relic ‘03.” Arsham, a fan of Saarinen’s work, deemed the 473-acre site the “perfect location.”

It’s also the kind of space that drew country singer Tim McGraw and his crew to use the Bell Works building and its sprawling grass fields as the backdrop for the cover of the singer’s 14th album, Damn Country Music.

The Bell Works building itself is experiencing a rebirth reconnecting to it’s past as a design icon and business center.

The interplay of fashion and architecture that Bell offers mimics the effect of more well-known architectural landmarks on designers. A triangle pattern may mirror the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Shining textiles might reflect the glimmering glass of the Louvre.  A slate gray, perfectly-tailored blazer can echo the great New York City marble behemoths, like the Met, the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall. A curved hem line can reflect the parabola of the St. Louis Arch, another Eero Saarinen work of art.

At Bell, Elle Mexico set it’s featured fashions against the strong geometric patterns of the monochrome color block granite and the glittering exterior glass panels, patterns popping against Saarinen’s monochromatic palette.

“High fashion and architecture are, in some ways, the use of different mediums to communicate ideas of social and cultural identity,” said Alexandra. “They are both driven by functionality, but also personality and style.”

Fashion as cultural identity is part of the focus of Bell Works as it creates a center for culture, technology and business within suburban New Jersey.

“We’re really focusing on our efforts on tapping into the culture around work, and that means bringing together several different industries, such as tech, finance, fashion and science into one space,” said Alexandra. “Eero Saarinen’s goal with the building was to inspire. By bringing these different but connected industries together, we’re doing just that.”

Architecture is dependent on quality materials and purposeful design. The very best marble and granite. Flawless glass that allows natural light to stream. Interiors that are functional, but create a pleasing aesthetic. The Bell Works space is unlike modern office buildings, in that its neofuturistic aesthetic gives a look and feel that’s modern and enduring, functional and aspirational, like a timeless couture piece. That quality is what attracts the fashion world to Bell. More than a building, the historic space enhances editorial shoots, it makes a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for fashions.

“We’ve had so many different designers, seasons and looks come to Bell Works to shoot, and each one has come out so incredibly unique,” said Alexandra.

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Bell Works has created an urban experience in suburbia. The multi-use community is designed for commercial use, including tenants like fashion brands and light retail. The space produces inspiration, innovation, and creation at every turn. For information about booking the space for photography or events, contact Alexandra Harrison.