written by:
April 2, 2014
Four Philadelphia residents entrenched in the local design scene repurpose an old electric substation as a hub for American innovation and craft.

A bird's eye view of American Street Showroom highlights some of the many custom and found pieces. 

1 / 11

The American Street Showroom team from left to right: Brian Foster, Adam Kamens, Kim Kamens, Ernie Sesskin, and Robert True Ogden.

2 / 11

One of our favorite vignettes on display at American Street Showroom. 

3 / 11

One-of-a-kind American Street Showroom fabricated table. 

4 / 11

Custom reclaimed wood table in the outdoor area at American Street Showroom. 

5 / 11

Another gorgeous vignette in the showroom, showcasing some of the designers' custom work alongside found pieces. 

6 / 11

The room is already set for the salon dinners Kamens and the other designers host to encourage collaboration and discussion in the design community.

7 / 11

One of our favorite finds at the showroom, custom leather and wood barstools. 

8 / 11

A unique custom porch swing hangs from the ceiling of the showroom. 

9 / 11

Another favorite find, these cutting boards are beautifully crafted and affordable. 

10 / 11

The original smokestack from the roof of the showroom was retrofit to house a wood-fired pizza oven. Rumor has it that this smokestack oven can cook 10 pizzas in 90 seconds.  

11 / 11
image014 copy

A bird's eye view of American Street Showroom highlights some of the many custom and found pieces. 

In an industrial part of East Philadephia, an electric company substation has been resurrected from the inside out. Now more closely resembling a New York City loft filled with a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind design, American Street Showroom is the brainchild of Adam Kamens, CEO of Amuneal Manufacturing Corp. It’s a creative collaboration between Kamens, Brian Foster and Ernie Sesskin of Groundwork, and Lostine founder and creative director Robert True Ogden.

Kamens is quite familiar with the area—his family run magnetic shielding business had called it home for more than a generation—but he saw a greater potential for the company and the substation. The trained glass blower, with the heart of an artist and a blue-collar business ethic, felt he was in the perfect and unique position to launch a bespoke design company in Philadelphia. At Kamens’s helm, Amuneal's focus shifted from shielding to furniture and fabrication for the architecture and design community, specifically in hospitality and retail. Their rock star client list includes the Ace Hotel, Soho House, The Standard, Anthropologie and Barneys. While special commissions will continue to be their sweet spot, the company's offerings have expanded to include a diverse line of furniture, lighting, artwork, and a curated selection of one-of-a-kind objects, that can be purchased by designers and individuals alike.

The American Street Showroom’s electric company substation home was constructed in 1921, and though the telltale interior walls have been torn down to open it up, a great deal of historic influence remains. “A longtime friend and Amuneal employee found the building just as it was going up for auction and told me about it,” Kamens said. “The exterior of the building had the strength and humility of buildings built during that era and the interior had untapped potential.” But it’s a large unexpected find in the beautifully manicured outdoor space that first piques the interest of many showroom visitors, another piece pointing to the spirit from which it was born. “We removed the original smokestack from the roof of the building and relocated it to our side outdoor space where we retrofit it to house a wood-fired pizza oven. We use the oven for lunches and dinners with our guests—slowing down for a moment or two to take in the space and to celebrate the passion for design and creativity that brings us together.”

The 11,000 square foot showroom is by appointment only and is more of an inspiration-catalyst for design enthusiasts than it is a shopping experience, though nearly everything on display is for sale. The launch of the showroom this past November not only allows Amuneal to feature its products alongside the work of other notable Philadelphia designers, but also gives the public a new look at their expanding capabilities. "We are using the showroom in an odd way," Kamens says, "to make inspiration and discovery tangible for our peers." For those who can't make the trek to Philadelphia the team is planning to launch an e-commerce site where everything will be for purchase. It’s also worth noting that they have acquired a smaller showroom space in New York City. A few of our favorite finds include, wooden barstools, handcrafted wood and leather cutting boards, and ‘American’ sconces made from the rungs of a repurposed ladder.  

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016
When a garage damaged by termites had to go, a studio emerges.
June 19, 2016