Over the past decade, Erik Rueda Design Lab has grown from a one-man shop in a modest garage to a crack team of 20+ builders and designers who are constantly imagining, designing and crafting in a spacious facility just minutes from the heart of downtown Boston.
Erik Rueda founded the business in 2013 while he was still in college, building mostly residential furniture for clients in the Boston area. Following graduation and a short stint on active duty with the Army, Erik opened ERDL’s first proper workshop right on the edge of Boston’s South End. It took some time to clean up the space, which had become a dilapidated garage for old, burned out cars, but eventually we made it our home. Over the next two years, the company grew from 2 people to 6, and it became clear that we would need to expand again. The search for new shop space became even more complicated when Erik was called again into active duty, this time to the Middle East. While Erik was deployed, the rest of the company managed to relocate the entire shop to its next home in Chelsea, MA, where it still resides today.
In all that time, ERDL has worked on projects large and small, domestic and international, from Chicago to London to Bahrain. We work in nearly every sector and collaborate with a diverse set of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to local homeowners. No matter the scope or the client, we always strive for excellence, innovation and creativity in our work.
ERDL's first design office was a cozy attic guest room in Boston. It was there that our early residential designs — including wine rooms, decks and housing additions —came to life. Our building space, a two-car garage, was only a little bigger!
MOVING TO THE CITY
Our first official shop was at Allerton St. near Boston’s South End. Once we moved, production increased, the business took off, and we were able to develop our brand of premier, tech-friendly custom furniture. The shop itself may have been a little worse for wear, but our work was more polished than ever.
Always on the lookout for new opportunities, we relocated in 2015 just outside the city to Chelsea, MA. In addition to an expansive first floor workshop, we gained 9,000 square feet of real estate on the second floor, home to nothing but old storage from the previous owner. We took advantage of the space and realized our dream of a design-focused collaborative space. Over the following two years we renovated the entire building into what it is now: a buzzing consortium of small businesses sharing space, ideas and clients.
CREATION OF FOUNDRY 214
214 Arlington St. remains our home today, and we still encourage designers, builders, architects and craftspeople of all kinds to join us at Foundry 214. We have available for lease both closed offices as well as jump desks based on your needs and budget. Amenities include two conference rooms, a full kitchen and an open collaborative workspace. Best of all, most of the furniture and millwork was built just downstairs by our very own team of woodworkers.
Our workshop has a long and charming history as a home for makers and builders. Previously it has served as a machine repair shop, a sculpture studio specializing in bronze-casting, and a custom metal works shop (our friends at Sincere Metal Works), Now it is home to our comprehensive furniture and millwork fabrication. Our aim has always been to keep projects in-house as much as possible, shepherding jobs from the seeds of an idea to the final installation. In addition to our slew of industrial woodworking equipment, we also have our own finishing department, as well as CNC capabilities. Most importantly, we have a team of dedicated, creative, collaborative woodworkers that bring a diverse range of experiences and skill-sets to the table. We're proud to have clients, friends and partners tour our workshop, and see our work and process firsthand.
Our most recent tool acquisition is a CNC router. Truly a game-changer, a CNC allows us to cut intricate parts and pieces out of a wide variety of materials. Not only are we able to build more efficiently, but we're also able to design more creatively, knowing that we can produce a huge array of components with computer-guided precision. More than ever before, our only limit is our imagination.