Jay Jung, 54, and Tom Jung, 53, Space Makers
Everywhere you look in the Carolina Cadillac Building, you’ll see Jay and Tom Jung’s fingerprints.
In the hand-cut, sinuous white oak floor boards.
In the concrete and metal vestibule.
In the massive wood chandeliers, that look like a pile of giant crisscrossed skis – and like nothing you’ve ever seen.
“Everything was formed around the importance of materials, what we thought was durable. We built in a way that would withstand the use of the place .We chose materials based on texture and proportion and color – just what would suit the space,” Tom says.
It’s no wonder it took them about four years to turn this 95-year-old, former car dealership into a one-of-a-kind event space with both an industrial and a raw natural vibe.
“We really listened to this building,” Jay says.
The Nebraska-born brothers have been creative partners for nearly 20 years, helping companies like Krispy Kreme and Panera develop their branded environments. That meant everything from fabricating light fixtures to creating unique store concepts. The work is a mix of graphic design, interior design, and architecture. They call their business Think|Create.
They bought the dilapidated East Market Street building with partners a decade ago. But it failed to lure tenants given how much work it would take to restore it. Jay, who had already renovated the building next door, asked his brother to start a business there with him instead.
“He said, ‘I’d be willing to take on this building with you, but only if we go all the way,’” Jay says.
And they did. Nearly every item inside the towering space, with its exposed steel beams, was designed and fabricated by the brothers. The metal railings. The rolling bar stools. The massive, swiveling farmhouse table. Everything is raw, natural, tough. Exposed brick, wood, metal.
“It’s hard to fill a space this large with things that are available on the commercial market,” Jay says.
Plus, why not save some of that creativity for your own project?
“In our eyes, it is far from done,” Tom says of the space, which opened for business in March. “But we are pleased.”