Today is a day when so many are reflecting on the legacy of Andrew Breitbart–his spirit, his strength, his humor, his everything.
About several weeks ago, I was given a great honor as well as a great responsibility: I was tasked with interpreting what would be the visual legacy of Breitbart News. I was given the gorgeous space below in a corporate building where every client had his or her choice of 3 carpet selections and 3 paint colors: all various shades of bland.
The directive: make this “Breitbart.”
I took on the job with pride and a smile. And then: “You have three weeks to complete the job.” The keener observers of life might have noticed the most infinitesimally small change in the angle of that smile suggesting that pride thumbed over a healthy dose of panic.
So I did what any semi-intelligent neurotic would do under duress: I enlisted the help of another semi-intelligent neurotic, my brother Michael Kahn. He had an aesthetic that I trusted, a great love of this country, and a tremendous respect for Andrew. He got him.
We were both very aware of the gravity of the project. This was not only a visual legacy but this space would house those individuals who carry on the legacy every moment of every day.
We had an open space, the aforementioned choices for carpet and paint, and a team of corporate cyborgs hell bent on saying “no” even if it was easier to say “yes.” We were given a very specific set of rules by which everyone in the building played. We asked ourselves: What would Andrew do?
We evaluated those rules… and promptly threw them out.
THE CONFERENCE ROOM
We wanted to find that specific place where Mid Century Modern met industrial–where American exceptionalism met the future but didn’t take a back seat. Where Andrew met the world.
We completed the new Breitbart News Headquarters in three weeks. Every decision was discussed. Every detail was thought out, regardless of how small. From the antique fire engine that rests on the bookcase to the four hundred-pound iron conference table. We evaluated every single thing by using the following criteria: Was it strong? Did it have character? Did it have class? Was it smart? Was it bold?
…Was it Breitbart?
Photography by Michael Kahn
Jon David Kahn is the Minister of Culture for Breitbart News Network. Follow him on Twitter.