An unassuming brick building in Detroit’s long-neglected Core City neighborhood was once home to a booming repair shop in the heyday of automotive manufacturing. “Magnet Radiator Works,” was emblazoned on the entrance of the facility in faded red paint and still is, except today the 2,100-square-foot structure is instead one of the hottest restaurants to pop up in the Motor City this year. Featuring an interior ambiance that feels both futuristic and chill, Magnet is the vision of Ishtiaq Raffiuddin, principal of local firm UNDECORATED, and developer Philip Kafka, both the minds behind the 2017 Thai-food sensation TAKOI. The duo transformed a former garage near downtown Detroit into a minimalistic and intimate space that aids Chef Brad Greenhill in serving up a bold Mediterranean cuisine. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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What does a Fitbit have in common with a cafe? According to Andrés Jaque, founder and principal of the Office for Political Innovation (OFFPOLINN), both are “prosthetics of the body” that extend its functions and operations into the surrounding world. The Madrid- and New York-based studio infused that idea into its vibrant design for Run Run Run, a new eatery in Madrid’s Vallehermoso neighborhood that’s part farm, part athletic center, part cafe, part something else entirely. OFFPOLINN collaborated with restaurateurs Grupo La Musa to create a space for runners to refuel with a post-workout pit stop. The cafe’s main seating space is in a greenhouse-like structure trimmed in a mint-green frame that sits atop the marigold-yellow, basement-level kitchen and communal bar. Hanging from the concrete structure above, a vertical garden grows between the two levels and supplies the cafe with fresh produce. “Clean eating” takes on new meaning as water from an open shower provided for runners to rinse off is reclaimed to irrigate the garden. Other areas more often associated with gyms, such as a locker room, further support customers using the city as a training course. To maximize the interior’s flexibility, Jaque and his team conceived the space as “a metabolism rather than a fixed box.” Freestanding furniture and architectural features are color-coded according to their relative fixity. Peachy hues in the interlocking marble slabs of the floor are echoed in the scalloped backs of the blush sofas as well as the bubblegum-tinted ceiling to signal permanence. Red and green represent objects in flux or in a constant state of motion. Movable metal chairs, stools, and tables coated in blood orange are paired with vibrant turquoise cork seats resembling stacked bricks, each designed, prototyped, and fabricated by OFFPOLINN’s Spanish atelier. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
Sydney-based designer and self-professed foodie Matt Woods is known for his unbridled aesthetic. Motifs of his oeuvre include beautifully repurposed objects, attention to a material, and a conceptual design approach, all of which show up again and again in his significant body of work—a plethora of cafes, restaurants, bars, and retail spaces. His designs don’t hit you over the head with historic references or millennial stylistic nuances. Rather, the overall effect stems from a pleasantly unexpected aesthetic; where if you were to take all furniture, wall coverings, light fixtures, and all other elements apart and separate them into a collected pile, it would look like those things wouldn't normally go together—and yet somehow, they do and to an impressive degree. Enter the otherworldly atmosphere of the Messenger Cafe, a sweeping space swathed in terrazzo. The materiality of the aggregate-manufactured tiles that clad most of the space has become a metaphor for the scheme: beauty found in irregularly and seeming lack of uniformity. The walls, floors, countertops, and caramel leather cushioned banquettes seating are also anchored by terrazzo slabs produced by Fibonacci Stone. Woods are implemented in steeple-like triangle planes, placed in the foreground of the cafe's curtain walls. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
Local interior design firm BlazysGérard has converted a former insurance office into Montreal's latest breakfast and lunch hotspot Dandy; celebrated chef Michael Tozzi first venture out on his own. The monumental restaurant balances an unpretentious atmosphere with a touch of class; achieved through the running theme of arches and circular elements. The design practice identified this design motif in the space's large pre-existing, street-facing windows and carried through the implementation of structural details, bespoke pendant lamps, and oversized mirrors. The enfilade-esque restaurant incorporates all of its dining tables, chairs, and banquets in one central two-row volume with a sequence of mobile-like, two-prong, arch-shaped lamps running above; that evoke structural room-diving archways on either side. Altogether, this scheme cuts an impressive profile. But however bold in geometric expression the concept might be, Dandy's design is intended to act as an unimposing backdrop canvas for its clientele. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
Of all the places in New York City that might conjure up spatial memories of Paris, apparently French elegance can best be found at Saks Fifth Avenue. In tandem with the recent 53,000-square-foot renovation of the flagship’s main floor, as well as a new OMA/Rem Koolhaas-designed escalator connecting it to the beauty and cosmetics section above, an upscale restaurant within the building offers shoppers a different type of design to invest in: one that’s slightly more delicious and feels world’s away. L’Avenue is Philippe Starck’s latest take—and New York’s own version—of the iconic eatery of the same name that opened in Paris over 20 years ago under the leadership of owners Jean-Louis Costs and Alex Denise. Its second and only outpost, now gracing the top two floors of Saks, was created with a sense of style and timelessness like its sister site abroad, but with some added comfort. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
An assuming brick building in New York’s East Village houses an elegant and warm Japanese restaurant on its first floor that’s been designed as an ode to the mid-autumn full moon. Tsukimi, located at 228 East 10 St., recently opened under the tutelage of renowned chef Takanori Akiyama and was inspired by the festival tradition of tsukimi, or “moon viewing,” which happens at the start of fall harvest each year. Designed by Brooklyn-based firm Studio Tack, the modest space “aids in slowing the mind down” and utilizes both expressive and simple patterns to focus guests on intentional eating and community. White oak is the primary material found throughout the restaurant and is visible in everything from the two communal tables that face each other, to the shelves underneath, and the tambour wall paneling behind. The soft tones of the wood and its various textures are mixed to produce a comforting and relaxed feel. The design team further honed in on the tsukimi symbolism by enveloping the interior with a pleasant glow, one that also extends to the street via the corduroy glass on the windows. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
Record-breaking traffic. Rain. President Trump's decision to move $2.5 million from the National Park Service budget to pay for an over-the-top Independence Day parade complete with tanks. With all of the July 4th gloom to wallow in, why not drown your sorrows in food? And what better food for July 4th emotional eating than the humble hot dog? There is no substitute for a juicy frank, especially when it's consumed under the delightful glow of retro neon. To that end, AN has rounded up America's high-design sausage sit-downs, weenie joints, and tube steak emporiums so you, dear reader, may eat in style this holiday weekend: Chicago's Superdawg has been slinging topping-heavy hot dogs since 1948. This 1970s North Carolina mini-chain operates out of huts shaped like dog houses (woof!). The trash cans are designed to look like fire hydrants. The big (literal) orange that is Mark's Hot Dogs has been a fixture in San Jose since 1936. The National Register of Historic Places–listed, family-owned, pagoda-shaped Walter's splits its dogs like a book before they hit the grill. Across the street from Mamaroneck High School, the stand has served up tube steaks to teens and country club dads for 100 years. The Coney Island Hot Dog Stand is a duck of a dog! It's Boomer-aged but the franks are always fresh. Green roof? No, I said ween(ie) roof! The fiberglass-and-steel tube steak on top of Wienerlicious is 60 feet long and it's perfect. This guy agrees:
The Bushwick, Brooklyn, outpost of Danny Bowien’s San Francisco–born Mission Chinese Food opened recently. The new restaurant takes the borderline-psychedelic aesthetics of the downtown spot and restructures them, this time on a light-bright industrial grid in a space designed by Lauren Devine, Alex Gvojic, and Nikki Mirsaeid. The tubular lighting crossing the ceiling was designed by none other than Nitemind, the studio best known for adding effects to raves and tours of artists like Mitski and Kelela, as well as for their more permanent lights at venues like Bossa Nova Civic Club, also in Bushwick. The overhead LED tubes shift through a rainbow of colors, dousing the space in shades normally reserved for hours much later than dinnertime; fittingly, the restaurant is located in the same warehouse space as the club Elsewhere. There are also unusual lighting fixtures in the bathrooms—The Matrix–themed colored codes descend in obscure calculations down the mirrors—and above the bar, TVs lined up in a row play silent film clips of people dining alone. 599 Johnson Avenue Brooklyn, NY, 11237 (718) 628-3731 Lauren Devine, Alex Gvojic, and Nikki Mirsaeid
What’s most surprising about Rockwell Group’s design for R17, the new speakeasy-inspired lounge atop Lower Manhattan’s Pier 17, is that it’s not flashy. In contrast to the stand-out building it’s housed in, the 1,830-square-foot restaurant and bar provides a chic setting for cocktail and wine lovers to casually get a drink after work without being inundated by the holiday crowd that’s currently shrouding the South Street Seaport district. While the majority of the structure’s rooftop will transform next week into a veritable winter wonderland complete with New York’s newest ice-skating rink, the bar itself is designed to maintain an aura of intimacy. At least, that’s how Rockwell Group envisions it. “We wanted to create a calming atmosphere that people could escape to,” said Senior Interior Designer Renee Burdick, “similar to how New Yorkers might escape to a cabin or chalet upstate during winter.” But that vision is completely seasonal. For The Howard Hughes Corporation, the group that owns the mixed-use development, the design team crafted a “pop-up” space that will transition in both style and setting from a winter pavilion into a summer pavilion. While R17 can only accommodate around 70 people now, when it’s floor-to-ceiling sliding doors are open in the warmer months and the dining area expands onto a tiered terrace, the space effectively quadruples in size, increasing capacity to 300. The current cabin vibes, created thanks to low-lighting, fur pillows, dark-hued furniture, and textured wool rugs, will be replaced with a lighter material palette and beachy upholstery. The large fireplaces will become settings for playful art installations. This “transformative” approach to interior architecture is very site-specific, said Rockwell Group. Not many hospitality projects have the bandwidth to literally flip the space throughout the year. “The programming shift here is enormous,” said Richard Chandler, associate principal and studio leader at Rockwell Group. “It will have a completely different look and feel in the summer. We'll add new pieces to the design every year so it’ll always be evolving.” Some things about the lounge will stay the same. Its anchoring design feature is a blue onyx-topped bar with a sand-colored wavy tile that serves as siding. Burdick says it’s designed to look like a mountain skyline. These two elements bring a feel of fluidity to the space, along with the large-format printed tiles on the floor, that contain brushstrokes of blue, silver, and gray. The motif of movement is continuously carried out on the ceiling and windows, which include metallic threads and gilded wood-and-metal screens respectively. These help tone down the bright sunlight that may stream into the space during the day and shield restaurant-goers from the lively scene going on outside, which Rockwell Group will outfit with a temporary bar and lounge that’s reminiscent of a ski lodge interior. These “warming huts” will be shaped to mimic the urban water towers found atop buildings across the city. Much like these locally-inspired building shapes, R17 boasts an array of city, state, and American-made materials that complement the mountain chalet and Long Island beach home concepts. The space serves as a new living room for the city—with arguably the best view of the Brooklyn Bridge in all of Manhattan. It doesn’t have a flamboyant entrance and isn’t suffocated by the bright, technicolor lights that glare out of Pier 17 at night. It’s an understated, flexible space that’s simple and luxurious. Although, in the summer, Rockwell Group plans that the expanded scale, along with the pier’s popular summer concert series, will bring a different kind of festive and potentially exclusive energy to new bar and restaurant. According to Chandler, we'll have to wait and see.
The first element of Frank Gehry’s master plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art is now open to the public. The new restaurant, Stir, is the only fine dining establishment on the East Coast designed by the architect and, surprisingly, the only space in the museum where his signature style will be apparent. Stir's cozy dining room seats just 76 people beneath a large sculpture of crisscrossing Douglas fir beams hanging from a ceiling of curving wood panels. Affectionally dubbed “the nest” and “chips” by the architect and museum staff, the sculptural ceiling is complemented by custom leather banquettes and granite tables designed by Gehry Partners. The warm, intimate space is enclosed by frosted glass walls and an open-air kitchen. Guests can watch chefs prepare locally sourced seasonal dishes inspired by the museum’s new dining room, like roasted Griggstown chicken over a nest of braised green beans. “Every restaurant is about time and place,” said chef Mark Tropea, who created a menu that ensures the sense of place extends to the plates. Gehry also designed the adjacent cafe, a well-lit casual cafeteria space that can seat up to 160 guests. Organized around a central serving station, the cafe serves up views of the city along with surprisingly impressive made-to-order dishes. And yes, there are cheesesteaks—artisanal cheesesteaks. Stir is the first milestone on the long road to the renovation and expansion of the 1928 building, originally designed by a collaboration of architects including Paul Cret, the firm of Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary, and the firm of Horace Trumbauer, particularly Howell Lewis Shay and Julian Abele. The first phase of the renovation, The Core Project, will be completed in 2020. The stylistically subtle intervention will dramatically improve circulation and infrastructure with 90,000 square feet of new public space, including expanded galleries and tile-vaulted walkways. Although visitors will have to wait a little longer to enjoy the refreshed galleries, Stir is open now with refreshments and a glimpse of the museum's future.
As the home of AN Interior's parent publication, The Architect's Newspaper, for 12 years, Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood has steadily developed a spicy, post-work hangout scene. The latest places to pop up in our community include four chic, inviting spaces that offer commuters and locals alike the chance to savor the sweet taste of good design (at a good price) any time of day. These stunning and simple venues—a timeless tea parlor, a cozy cocktail lounge, a sunny seafood spot, and a sky-high, Danny Meyer dining experience—all opened this year to rave reviews for their food, drinks, and decor. Next time you’re in Tribeca, you won’t want to forgo seeing these inspired interiors for yourself. Primo’s Designer: Camilla Deterre 129 Chambers Street Primo’s exudes a surprising and sexy contemporary twist on Italian Art Deco. Designed by model Camilla Deterre, the striking bar packs speakeasy sentimentality and midcentury modern elements into a small, two-room space hidden inside the Frederick Hotel. Long drapes with rich primary colors and cotton velvet upholstery covering curvaceous banquets give Primo’s an aura of luxury, but the soon-to-be late-night Tribeca mainstay is more informal than it appears. The chrome-outlined bar boasts an impressive organic wine collection and serves an array of dreamy classic cocktails and avant-garde absinthe coolers that will knock your socks off. Manhatta Architect: Woods Bagot 28 Liberty Street, 60th Floor As culinary impresario Danny Meyer’s most recent endeavor, Manhatta serves as a home in the sky for delicious food and jaw-dropping views. With less glitz than you’d expect from a restaurant of this stature—it nearly covers the entire top floor of Manhattan’s first International Style building—its elegant yet friendly atmosphere overwhelms any sense of high society. Woods Bagot’s design for the French-American eatery and bar brings dark wood, weathered granite, brass fixtures, and jewel-toned Chinese paintings together to subtly create an intimate setting with an unparalleled perspective of New York. A Summer Day Cafe Architect: Savvy Studio 109 West Broadway This relaxing restaurant and raw bar transports urbanites to Italy’s Amalfi Coast with an enticing seafood selection and a maritime mood. Dreamed up by architecture and branding studio Savvy, the 1,290-square-foot space oozes summer simplicity. It’s one of Tribeca restaurateur Matt Abramcyk’s latest ventures and an experiment in stylishly crafting the sensation of leisure and calm. The concept is a nod to photographer Joel Meyerowitz’s 1985 book A Summer’s Day, with a material palette inspired by boats, seaside cottages, and industrial fish markets. Interlude Architect: Kimoy Studios 145 Hudson Street Founded by Juilliard-trained classical pianist Josh Kim, Interlude is an Asian tea and coffee cafe that serves its signature matcha tonic and homemade baked goods in a light-filled, minimalist space, designed by KIMOY Studios. Kim combined his passions for gastronomy, design, and hot drinks to open the business (which he runs with his sister and girlfriend) this summer. The bright white marble, polished black granite, and warm wood tones found throughout the cafe were hand-selected to mimic the look and feel of a grand piano.
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has designed a new home for one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in the world: noma. The Danish eatery moved into their new digs earlier this year, leaving their old home in the Strandgade neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark, to the city's Christiania area. Christiania is Copenhagen's "hippie town," a former military base that was colonized by squatters in the 1970s, became a sort of lawless city-in-a-city where drugs were available at street stalls, and is now a mix of informal settlements and super-lux restaurants. The new noma is in a refurbished warehouse that was once used by the Royal Danish Navy and has been re-styled with a Scandi-chic interior for sampling avant-garde takes on Nordic cuisine. The restaurant is split across a variety of little buildings, each assigned a specific purpose (arrival, wine selection, etc.) and all arranged around the kitchen. The arrangement is meant to turn a visit to the restaurant into a culinary experience, one where you can visit the garden that grew the herbs on your plate and you can poke around the science experiments that might show up on the menu next year. The restaurant's garden, test kitchen, and bakery are all on-site along with fermentation labs, fish tanks, terrarium, and an ant farm. Outback Steakhouse this is not. Lest it all become too highfalutin, the interiors are lined with humble, local materials like exposed wood and salvaged brick. A greenhouse is light and unassuming, bordering even on utilitarian, and the overall aesthetic hews more closely to the streamlined humanism of Alvar Aalto than the flash and "hedonism" that other BIG projects are known for. The new location opened in Feburary, 2018, and is now available for reservations.